Giant HS2 tunnelling machines unveiled

Grant Prior 1 month ago
Share

HS2 has revealed the first images and names of the two completed giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will excavate the twin-bore Chiltern tunnel on the first phase of the route.

The names – Florence and Cecilia – were inspired by scientific and medical pioneers.

The first two TBMs will be operated by HS2’s main works contractor, Align JV – a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick.

The 2,000 tonne machines – which have been built by German tunnelling specialists Herrenknecht – will be shipped in pieces to the UK and arrive at Align’s main site to the west of London just inside the M25 later this year.

‘Florence’ is set to be launched early next year to begin digging the 10-mile-long Chiltern tunnel. ‘Cecilia’ will launch around a month afterwards and dig the other half of the ‘twin bore’ tunnel.

Both 170m long machines are specifically designed for the mix of chalk and flint they will encounter under the Chilterns.

Operating a ‘continuous boring’ technique, they are expected to take around three years to excavate the 9.1m metre diameter tunnels which will be lined with concrete as they go.

The TBMs will mix the spoil with water to form a slurry which will be pumped back to the main site where it will be treated before being used for landscaping on-site, removing the need for additional HGVs on local roads.

Daniel Altier, Align Project Director said: “Florence and Cecilia incorporate the latest technology which will be essential to ensure an efficient and safe excavation of the twin-bore tunnel.

“This will be the first time that some of the innovations we are introducing will have been used on any TBM worldwide.”

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston said: “The launch of our first tunnelling machines will be a defining moment in the history of HS2 – and our work to deliver a low carbon, high speed railway that will change the way we travel in the UK.”

 

Latest news

10,000 jobs at risk in nuclear supply chain without Sizewell C

Contractors urge Government to back new Suffolk nuclear power station
3 days ago

Lendlease sells London office tower for flats revamp

Grant Lipton buys Chiswick office block to covert to 137 homes
2 days ago

Aecom wins PM role for £700m Whipps Cross hospital

Construction is hoped to start befoe the end of 2022
2 days ago

Kier plunges to £273m loss

Heavy restructuring costs and building losses set Kier back
3 days ago

Tolent order book rises to £190m despite southern exit

Directors wind down loss-making southern business to focus on north and central England
3 days ago

Hull contractor writes roadworks sign in local dialect

"Yer Jerking, Merr Rerd Werks" sign unveiled by M B Roche & Sons
3 days ago

M&E firms now optimistic after worst fears not realised

Firms in positive mood even with furlough scheme drawing to a close
3 days ago

£216m deal for East Coast Main Line power upgrade phase 2

Rail Electrification Alliance, including VolkerRail and Murphy, signs contracts
3 days ago

Tender prices hold firm but likely to fall 2.5% in 2021

Mace cost consultancy forecasts bid pricing fall next year
3 days ago

Skanska chief to chair CBI construction council

Gregor Craig will succeed Sir James Wates in November
3 days ago

Henry Construction hires safety director

Former Murphy safey chief joins Henry Construction
3 days ago

Go-ahead for West London 460-home build to rent scheme

TfL/Grainger JV to start five-block scheme next to Southall station
4 days ago

Argent advances plan for fifth Paradise Square building

Four architects in contest to design Three Chamberlain Square and hotel
4 days ago

Mini nuclear power lifeline for Wylfa site

Rolls-Royce eyes North Wales site after Hitachi confirms £20bn nuclear power plant canned
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall set for £40m Birmingham Uni lab job

First phase of Molecular Science complex to start early next year
4 days ago

Leaders press Chancellor for targeted six-pack stimulus

Industry tables carbon reduction, cladding and job creation plan for Autumn spending review
4 days ago

Worker killed as scaffold collapses during dismantling

Contractor and director fined after fatal fall in north London
4 days ago

Vital Energi to build waste heat from power plant centre

Low-carbon energy centre to use spare heat from planned £680m energy from waste plant
4 days ago

Spring start for next Harwell science block

Builder yet to be named for Quad 2 building
4 days ago

MPs slam missed cladding remediation target

Public Accounts Committee warns it is “imperative” new 2021 deadline to replace cladding is met
4 days ago

Galliford Try suffers £60m loss

Contractor forecasts return to profit this year and targets 1.6% margin
5 days ago

Pulling-out of London market costs Redrow £35m

Making "acceptable" returns in the capital "increasingly more difficult"
5 days ago

Balfour tops August contracts league with civils wins

Value of industry civils contract wins rises above last year's pre-Covid level
5 days ago

Lendlease to cut 240 UK staff

Lendlease streamlining to see workforce cut by 15%
5 days ago

Network Rail to prototype composite station bridges

Low carbon composite bridges could be used to replace existing assets
5 days ago

Nuclear supply chain fears as £20bn Wylfa project scrapped

Firms warn Sizewell C plan now essential to protect developing industry
5 days ago

Nine win next phase of £12bn Openreach roll-out

2m more homes to be hooked up in ultrafast broadband push
5 days ago

Competition watchdog probes Interserve FM sale to Mitie

CMA investigates £271m merger to create UK's largest FM firm
5 days ago

Henry Boot puts social housing arm into liquidation

Starfish Commercial closes year after acquisition
6 days ago

Imtech cuts jobs as founder steps down

Imtech Engineering Services to axe 50 jobs in streamlining
6 days ago

Contractor services