Giant HS2 tunnelling machines unveiled

Grant Prior 4 years 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

Contractors and unions agree Sizewell C working deal

New deal offers improved sick pay and parental leave over Hinkley Point deal
53 mins ago

Competition chiefs win legal fight for more construction raids

High Court rules CMA officials can raid a domestic property as part of investigation
6 hours ago

More Osborne companies file administration notices

Three more divisions lodge notices with court
13 hours ago

McLaren wins multi-storey urban logistics contract

South London win with British Land is pioneering urban logistics hub
12 hours ago

Big social housing schemes at risk over funding uncertainty

Housing associations warn uncertainty over public funding beyond 2026 is curbing new schemes
12 hours ago

Kier wins Worcestershire town centre renewal

Firm secures Bromsgrove commercial and cultural hub project
12 hours ago

BAM signs Kent school contract at £42m

Sevenoaks school rebuild signed off at £8m more than first estimates
12 hours ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
3 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
4 days ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
4 days ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
4 days ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
4 days ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
4 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
5 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
5 days ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
5 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
4 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
4 days ago

Delancey submits £400m King’s Cross lab plans

200,000 sq ft lab/office project will be built above railway and tube tunnels just 4.5m below
5 days ago

Winners revealed for £150m fire safety framework

New deal will help organisations comply with the Building Safety Act
5 days ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
5 days ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
6 days ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
6 days ago

New scheme fuels London lab building boom

Plans in for 160,000 sq ft Whitechapel scheme near Royal London hospital
6 days ago

Contract race starts for next £155m section of A9 dualling

Prior Information Notice published for Tay Crossing to Ballinluig stretch
6 days ago

£55m Sheffield build-to-rent scheme approved

Demolition to start later this year for 158-flat Sheffield Garden project
6 days ago

London back as most expensive place to build in world

Capital leapfrogs Geneva to top costliest construction rankings
6 days ago

Gas supplier Regent to buy TClarke for £90m

£491m turnover listed building services specialist to be sold
7 days ago

Steel contractor Billington launches into bridge market

Steelwork firm hires staff from failed architectural and bridge specialist SH Structures
6 days ago

Contractor services