The fourth tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will be used to construct part of the 20km long tunnel on Norway’s Follo Line rail scheme has rolled off the production line.
Main contractor Acciona Ghella joint venture project director Fernando Vara and client Jernbaneverket project manager Anne Kathrine Kalager were on site at TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht’s factory in Germany to see the machine completed.
The Follo Line is the largest TBM-bored tunnelling project in Norwegian history and the route from Oslo to Ski will create the longest rail tunnel in Scandinavia. Herrenknecht has said that the four TBMs represents one of its largest ever order for hard rock tunnelling machines.
“The completion of the four tunnel boring machines is a huge milestone for the Follo Line Project,” said Jernbaneverket project director Erik Smith. “We are impressed to see how Acciona Ghella JV and Herrenknecht have produced the four TBMs, which are crucial to the success of the project, within a short period of time.”
Vara added: “With the completion of the fourth and final TBM, we start a new phase of the project. From now on, our main focus will be to assemble the TBMs, make them operational and start boring the railway tunnel. We are, so far, ahead of the contract schedule and we are now entering a challenging and complex part of this fantastic project.”
The fourth TBM will be used to tunnel southwards through gneiss deposits towards the town of Ski.
Assembly of the first two TBMs, which will undertake the drive northwards towards Oslo, is underway and tunnelling is expected to start in September.