The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

interest and speculation

with 3 comments

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator can never be 100% sure about anything, as I live in a hallucinatory dreamscape of thwarted ambition where angles that appear obtuse are often in fact acute, but this would seem to be the head of a tunnel boring machine at the Sunnyside Yards. The device is of Byzantine complexity and cyclopean size, but sits suspended.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

These shots are from the middle of January, the 18th to be exact (which is also Robert Anton Wilson’s birthday), and were captured at a fortuitous moment when the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was hanging low in the sky.

A video of the second avenue subway project’s tunnel crew bursting through the the skin of the earth is extant upon the interwebs, and I believe this to be the front of that mechanism which has been grinding out its subterranean course for the last several years.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

It is a rare thing to see equipment like this out in the open, let alone suspended above the ground by steel spars erected by the estimable engineers of Bay Crane. A mere week later, the device was entirely disassembled into constituent parts, no doubt to allow it to be easily shipped off to the location of its next task.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks Mitch, I’ve heard about this contraption from a German, Danish friend of mine, who’ company had something to do with the technology. Every time I’ve gone through the Sunnyside yards….I’ve kinda been looking for the “borer” So many Thanks! A visual has been sited Huston.

    Diane Hendry

    February 7, 2012 at 7:43 am

  2. What you are actually looking at is the disassembled cutter head from the the soft-ground tunnel boring machine (TBM) that completed a 1,900+ foot tunnel in Sunnyside Yards for the MTA’s East Side Access project on December 22nd. This is not one of the TBMs that carved out the Manhattan tunnels for the same project. This TBM will be reassembled to bore another tunnel through Sunnyside Yard, starting near Queens Plaza. Currently, there is another TBM at work in Sunnyside Yard boring another, longer tunnel, that should be finished some time in February. That TBM will be disassembled also, carted back to the Queens Plaza area and start the fourth (and final) tunnel for this part of the project. You can view a video of the TBM shown in the picture boring through at the end of it’s tunnel run, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJsp63w4lVs

    Mario Cotularo

    February 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

  3. […] As a point of interest, not too long ago I managed to capture some shots of the tunnel boring machine used to open the new passage as it was being prepared for transit out of Queens.┬áCheck them out here. […]


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