- TBM Florence and Cecilia are 170 m long with shields of 10.26 m in diameter
- Two Chiltern Tunnel lines will be excavated, with a total length of approximately 32 km
- The works will be carried out 24/7 and will take 2.5 years
90 m underground
Florence and her twin sister Cecilia, who will carry the second thread from the tunnel, are 170 meters long, shields are 10.26 meters (two giraffes height) and weigh 2,000 tons (340 African elephants). They will descend 90 meters below the surface. The inner diameter of the tunnel will be 9.1 m.Each element of the casing will have dimensions of 2×4 m and a weight of 8.5 tons. They will be tied in loops – 112,000 in both lanes.
The machines were manufactured by Herrenknecht at a plant in Germany and shipped to the UK in over 300 separate loads. Assembled near the south gate of the Chiltern Tunnel and the M25 motorway.
15 pm daily
Florence (named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale) began digging north under the Chiltern Hills. In a month, she will be joined by Cecilia, who will operate the second tunnel at the South Gate. Both devices were manufactured taking into account local ground conditions. They will cover 15 meters per day, put the cover behind – each line will contain 56 thousand. Precision slices reinforced with on-site fibers.
Each TBM will be serviced by a crew of 17 working in 3 shifts: Drilling will take place for 24 hours. Daily, seven days a week. With an area of 100 employees, it will handle logistics and keep operations running smoothly. The chalk obtained from the excavated materials will be used to develop the south entrance area after the completion of the construction work.
The general contractor, Align, a joint venture of three companies: Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick, is responsible for operating the machines.
Significant investment in infrastructure
HS2 is Europe’s largest infrastructure investment. The construction will include 102 km of tunnels from London to the West Midlands. Already 16,000 people have been employed to implement the project. employees. 2,000 hoists, dumpers and excavators will be used at 200 construction sites. The goal is to modernize railways between major British cities and increase shipping capacity. It is also meant to be a step towards implementing the plan to achieve zero CO2 emissions2 Clear. Travelers will benefit from parts of the first section of HS2 between 2029 and 2033, and the entire project could cost up to £ 106 billion.
Also read: Australia’s longest road tunnel going to be built in the Blue Mountains?
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