When tunneling resumes the roadheader will travel an average of 22 feet per day until it reaches the Vargas Shaft (14,300 feet away). A sister roadheader headed in the opposite direction will rendezvous with the machine sometime in 2013.
The roadheader’s boom-mounted cutting head that hacks away at rock face.
The boom-mounted cutting head is capable of excavating the 13-foot horseshoe shaped dimensions of the tunnel.
The Roadheader starts its journey from the Alameda West Portal
Spoils generated are collected on a conveyor belt attached to the roadheader and loaded onto rail cars for transport outside of the tunnel.