On Friday 6 October, the second of the seven tunnel boring machines that will excavate the Lyon-Turin base tunnel was unveiled. The TBM, twin of the first one tested in July, was handed over to the Italian-French group of companies responsible for the operational construction sites 6 and 7 at the Herrenknecht factory in Germany.
This series of seven TBMs will complement the first two (Gea and Federica), which dug the first tunnels.
This TBM also is 180-metre-long and has a diameter of 10.4 metres. It will be used to excavate the 9 km of the northern tube of the base tunnel, in addition to the already completed work of the Federica TBM on the southern tube between Saint-Martin-la-Porte and La Praz, The TBM delivered in July will instead have the task of excavating one of the two tubes in the section between La Praz and Modane. This is an important milestone for the completion of the excavation of the two 57.5 km-long tubes of the Mont Cenis base tunnel, the main work of the new Lyon-Turin freight and passenger railway line. The group of companies responsible for the operational construction sites 6 and 7 – composed of VINCI Construction Grands Projets (group head), Webuild, Dodin Campenon Bernard and Campenon Bernard Centre Est – tested the second TBM. Also present at the delivery ceremony were the top management of TELT, the group of companies SETEC / Systra / Italferr and PINI group, all involved in the realization of the Lyon-Turin project. This step also marks an important milestone in the financing agreements among France, Italy, and the European Union, demonstrating the constant commitment of the Lyon-Turin stakeholders.
Like the model presented in July, this new TBM has the following characteristics: 8,100 kilowatts of power, 2,300 tonnes in weight and a head with 61 rotating cutters to crush the rocks. The TBM consists of a real travelling factory that includes 10 trailers that also transport the extracted rock to the surface on a conveyor belt.
In the coming months, this second TBM will be disassembled and transported with 120 heavy vehicles – including around 20 special vehicles – from the Herrenknecht factory to the Saint-Martin-la-Porte platform, where it will be reassembled and then start its excavation towards Italy.