First pictures of giant HS2 tunnelling machines

Grant Prior 1 month ago
Share

HS2 has revealed the first images of two giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) set to launch on the project later this year.

The machines are being built by Herrenknecht in Germany and their names are being chosen now so they can be added to the machines during their manufacture, ready for when they emerge out of the factory.

After completion the first two machines will be disassembled before beginning their journey to Britain.

Once they have arrived on site, each TBM will be reassembled, ready for launch and to begin their life underground.

Together the TBMs will spend around three years excavating what will be the longest and deepest tunnels on the project, stretching from just inside the M25, to South Heath in Buckinghamshire.

They will be operated by HS2’s main works contractor, Align JV – a joint venture formed of three companies: Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick.

Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The construction of HS2 is set to be an amazing opportunity to showcase global capability and innovation in the design and delivery of major infrastructure, and the Tunnel Boring Machines are one of the most fascinating aspects.

“Like mini cities, they will spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week boring under the Chilterns so that the homes and habitats above remain undisturbed.

“This is just one of many ways in which HS2 is delivering on its responsibilities to our neighbours and the natural environment and, when complete, the new railway will play a key role in reducing transport carbon emissions and improving air quality for the next generation.”

TBM Facts and Figures

  • The TBMs are 170m in length – nearly twice the length of a football pitch
  • Each one weighs roughly 2000 tonnes – the equivalent of 340 African bush elephants
  • When they start they will run non-stop for 3.5 years – only stopping for Christmas and Bank Holidays until the tunnels are complete
  • The tunnels will go as deep as 80m below the ground – ensuring communities and countryside above are not impacted by the railway
  • The size of the TBM cutterhead which will bore the tunnels is 10.26m, roughly the height of two giraffes standing on top of one another
  • The internal diameter of the tunnels in which the trains will pass through will be 9.1m, slightly larger than two London buses stacked on top of one another
  • The tunnels will be lined with concrete segments that will be 2m x 4m and weigh on average 8.5 tonnes each
  • 112,000 of these concrete segments will be required to complete both tunnels.

Latest news

Top contractors orders down 44% over three months

Wates tops June contracts league with major high-rise flats order
6 hours ago

Argent chief to head Oxford Uni £4bn housing partnership

Anna Strongman takes over as CEO of Oxford University Developments in September
15 hours ago

Taziker lands £24m Bristol station refurb contract

First major overhaul of Temple Meads for 25 years
17 hours ago

Plan for £600m North Wales tidal energy lagoon

It is hoped the scheme could be given the green light by 2023
14 hours ago

BAM to make 150 staff redundant

Drop in demand set to impact 2021 revenue
2 days ago

Bouygues to start on £240m Canning Town scheme

Phase three of Hallsville Quarter regeneration scheme gets green light
23 hours ago

“Builders stars of the economy” as construction rebounds

Latest buyers survey shows sharp turnaround in output as lockdown eases
2 days ago

Smart motorways chief moves to Lower Thames Crossing job

Shaun Pidcock takes project director role on UK's longest road tunnel
23 hours ago

Flannery trials first electric tele at HS2 site

Skanska Costain Strabag JV to roll out more machines across HS2
2 days ago

Lendlease gets nod to start Manchester town hall revamp

Council agrees to 5 month completion delay as notice to proceed agreed
23 hours ago

Drainage supplier Polypipe to axe 250 jobs

Polypipe keeps all facilities open to react to any unexpected rise in demand
22 hours ago

Morgan Sindall stars in £250m Glasgow Uni framework

University confirms nine construction partners
1 day ago

Barratt uncovers weak concrete frames at seven high rises

House builder faces £70m bill to remediate high rise flats
2 days ago

McAleer & Rushe starts £68m Birmingham resi tower

37-storey build to rent tower forms part of £120m Exchange Square 2 scheme
2 days ago

CPUK went down owing suppliers more than £9m

Construction Partnership UK Limited brought down by bad debts and Covid-19
2 days ago

Wates resumes full pay for all staff not on furlough

Chief praises staff for great professionalism in the most challenging of conditions
5 days ago

First net-zero carbon London office project approved

Mace advising on £160m project to expand and retrofit former BT HQ
2 days ago

Interserve to start £27m Oldham school job

Work starts this month on Saddleworth secondary school
2 days ago

Construction start date for latest Manchester resi scheme

Work to begin early next year at Bowler’s Yard
2 days ago

£120m rescue package for stalled arts sites

Cultural rescue programme to restart work on theatres, galleries,museums and cinemas
2 days ago

Canary Wharf Contractors could cut 100 jobs

Another round of redundancies as projects come to an end with no replacements in pipeline
5 days ago

Tower crane lifts end long climb to work for operators

Laing O'Rourke trials mast climbing lifts for tower crane operators at London site
5 days ago

Keep the industry updated by joining the Enquirer Directory

Membership lets construction know you are open for business now or in the future
2 years ago

Government agrees £30m bailout for rebar giant

Emergency loan to Celsa secures rebar supplies to construction
5 days ago

Plans go in for 2,200-home Oxfordshire garden village

Sustainable scheme will also include new schools and manufacturing space
6 days ago

Winvic raids Graham Construction for civils boss

Rob Cook joins as civils and infrastructure director at Winvic
6 days ago

Work with the Enquirer to help your post Covid recovery

Promote your business now to grab a bigger market share as construction bounces back
3 weeks ago

HS2 rebids £300m overhead power system

Bidding starts for first overhead lines powering trains to operate at 360km/h
6 days ago

Sisk seals £150m Santander campus in Milton Keynes

Biggest building contract signed off during restricted covid working
6 days ago

Builder wanted for £35m Forth Bridge tourist attraction

Contract to build bridge walkways and viewing platforms to be awarded before the end of 2020
6 days ago

Contractor services