Two Boring Company tunneling machines emerged this month after creating underground links for new stations along the future Vegas Loop, a public transportation system that will carry passengers in electric Teslas underground.
The company owned by Elon Musk announced July 10 that tunnel boring machine Prufrock-1 had finished its tunnel to the Westgate Las Vegas resort, and on the same day, Prufrock-2 emerged from boring underground to the Encore, which is part of the Wynn Las Vegas resort.
The 2,350-foot tunnel to the Encore/Wynn took 10 weeks for mobilizing the boring machine, digging and retrieval, the company reports.
“Good step towards building infrastructure projects in a matter of weeks versus years,” the company tweeted.
The Wynn resort tweeted that the new station, once built, will take passengers to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center “in approximately one minute” with zero emissions.
The resort expects the new route on the Vegas Loop to open in the first quarter of 2024. The Westgate station is expected to be built simultaneously.
The new links will eventually become the second and third stations on the Vegas Loop built after the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop opened in 2021. Boring Company opened its first, and so far only, stop on the Vegas Loop in July 2022 at Resorts World Las Vegas.
The company won approval recently from both the Clark County commissioners and the Las Vegas City Council to build an expanded Vegas Loop that will eventually cover 68 miles with 81 stops to The Strip, downtown, the airport and Allegiant Stadium, among other popular locations. The company has plans for even further expansion beyond the tourist areas and into Las Vegas Valley, and it has proposed a tunnel system between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The Boring Company is paying for building the system, and the resorts pay for building the stations. No tax money is being used to build the Loop. Boring expects to recoup its costs by charging passenger fares.
Building the system are the Prufrock tunnel boring machines, designed to “porpoise” by launching from the ground surface, digging underground and resurfacing when finished. The Vegas tunnels are about 40 feet underground. The company says the machines can begin tunneling within 48 hours of arriving on site, requiring no expensive pits for launching.
The Prufrocks can tunnel at a rate of more than 1 mile per week. The company says it has a goal of reaching 7 miles per day.
The machines are electric and arrive on rubber-wheeled segment trucks instead of by rail-based locomotives. As they dig they install the tunnel’s precast concrete segments simultaneously.