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VTA’s Official TBM Naming Contest for the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project is Live!


VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project is excited to announce the launch of its Official TBM Naming Contest for the machine that will bore the 8.05 km (5-mile tunnel) portion of the project. 

It is a longtime tradition to give a female name to the TBMs to provide good luck to the project. This tradition dates to the 14th century and is based on the patron saint of military engineers and miners, Saint Barbara, who stood as a symbol of protection and good luck for miners. Miners would name tunnelling machines with a female name as a way to pay homage to her. 

Submit your name here for the official TBM naming contest, which will be open for six weeks from March 18 to April 29, 2024 

The name should be a female name (or a representative name) that has significance to Santa Clara County. It can include descriptive adjectives that positively enhance the name (i.e., Mom Chung, Big Alma). 

The winner will receive a behind-the-scenes VIP tour for four individuals of the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project’s West Portal TBM construction launch site and more! 

More about the TBM 

The 16.46 m (54 feet) in diameter TBM for VTA’s BART Phase II Extension Project has been ordered from Herrenknecht in November 2023. The custom built machine is expected to be delivered in 2025, approximately 18 months after manufacturing begins. The TBM will be shipped from Kehl, Germany across the ocean to California to be reassembled on-site at the West Portal, located at the future Newhall Yard. Reassembling the TBM will take approximately 6 months on-site before it is ready to be launched. 

The TBM will be launched at the West Portal and will dig 9.14 m to 12.19 m (30 to 40 feet) each day travelling east towards the Berryessa/North San Jose BART Station, taking approximately 3 to 4 years to complete the 8.05 km (5-mile)-long tunnel. Once tunneling is complete, the TBM will emerge above ground at the East Portal on the east side of US 101 near Las Plumas Avenue. 

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