Contractor Implenia has announced the start of tunnelling of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) for the Albvorland Tunnel in Germany for Deutsche Bahn.
The 8km long tunnel is a key part of the work to build a new 60km rail line from Stuttgart to Ulm.
Although both TBMs have been lined up ready to start, the one – named Wanda – will be launched first and the other machine – named Sibylle – will be launched shortly after so the twin bore tunnel will be driven in parallel.
Cover depths on the tunnel route will go from 9.5m up to 65m and high water pressures are expected. The tunnel is expected to be completed in 2021.
An official ceremony to mark the start of work was held on Friday and was attended minister of economic affairs for Baden-Württemberg Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut after whom the tunnel has been named Nicole. The event was also attended by Ronald Pofalla, member of Deutsche Bahn’s management board responsible for infrastructure, Guido Wolf, Europe minister for Baden-Württemberg, Norbert Barthle, parliamentary state secretary at the federal ministry of transport, and Implenia CEO Anton Affentranger.