Seventh TBM Handed Over for the Brenner Project

On behalf of Brenner Basistunnel BBT SE (BBT), the project operator for the transalpine rail link, construction consortia are building two tunnel tubes and a continuous exploratory tunnel in various construction lots. Herrenknecht has now presented the first of two Double Shield tunnel boring machines for construction lot H53 Pfons-Brenner. The consortium of the companies PORR and MARTI will use them to excavate 7,500 meters of tunnel in the direction of Innsbruck.

The Austrian and Swiss tunnel construction specialists of the H53 Pfons-Brenner Base Tunnel consortium ordered a Double Shield tunnel boring machine (TBM) from Herrenknecht for this purpose. “The Brenner Base Tunnel is a project of the century and also extremely challenging from a technical point of view. H53 Pfons-Brenner is the largest construction lot in Austriaā€¯, says PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss.

Double Shield TBMs are among the most technically sophisticated tunnel boring machines. They combine the functional principles of Gripper and Single Shield TBMs in one machine. This powerful technology is therefore predestined for driving long tunnels in hard rock. Bernhard Kuderer, Project Manager at Herrenknecht, emphasizes: “In close cooperation with the consortium, we are providing tailor-made solutions for the complex geological requirements of this project.”

The new Herrenknecht Double Shield for the Brenner Base Tunnel has a diameter of 10,370 mm, a length of around 183 meters and weighs a total of around 2,700 tons (both figures include the back-up).

Transportation of the first parts of the machine from the Herrenknecht factory in Schwanau to Austria is expected to start at the end of March. The machine will then be reassembled in the assembly cavern. Tunneling is scheduled to begin in fall 2024. The eighth identical Double Shield TBM for driving the second tunnel tube in lot H53 Pfons-Brenner is also currently being built at the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau and will be delivered in spring.

The Brenner Base Tunnel, which is designed as a flat track and runs almost horizontally, forms the core of the new Brenner line between Munich and Verona. It will lead to a significant improvement in travel and transport options on one of Europe’s central transport axes and help to shift freight traffic in the Alpine region to rail.

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