TERRATEC Delivers Another EPBM for Bangkok Metro Purple Line

TERRATEC in May announced the delivery of another new 6.39m diameter Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machine (EPBM) for the construction of the Bangkok Metro Purple Line (C3). The event was attended by representatives from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand and contractor ITD-NWR MRT Joint Venture. Earlier in December 2023, the Factory Acceptance Test was performed for the first 6.39m diameter EPBM.

The two TERRATEC EPBM TBMs will be used to build a 3.12km tunnel, linking Phan Fa Station to Memorial Bridge Station through two metro stations. Both new 6.39m diameter Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines (EPBMs) will be deployed for the construction of the Bangkok Metro Purple Line (C3).

The project faces numerous challenges, particularly in maneuvering the TBMs through the historic area of the old Bangkok capital, which features landmarks such as the Grand Place and ancient temples. Another key aspect is the construction of the interchange station at Sam Yod, linking the Purple Line with the existing Blue Line MRT. The Purple Line will cleverly pass beneath the operational Blue Line tunnels.

Moreover, the TBMs will undertake an impressive task of tunnelling under the Chao Phraya River for a 150m stretch. The construction process requires meticulous planning and management to minimize disruptions to the surrounding infrastructure and environment.

The geological conditions along the tunnel routes will include challenging sand layers such as soft clay, stiff clay, dense clayey & silty sand. To address these conditions, the TBM’s soft ground cutterhead is fitted with a flat spoke type with copy cutters.

Throughout the construction process, traditionally reinforced, 275mm thick by 1400m wide, Universal reinforced concrete segments (5 + 1) will be installed as the TBM advances. Muck removal, segment transport, and the supply of consumables will be facilitated by rail-bound equipment utilizing battery locomotives.

TERRATEC TBMs are equipped with the Enzan laser guidance system, a top-tier system in the industry. This cutting-edge technology allows for remote monitoring of the entire tunnelling system, ensuring precise control over TBM operations. The Enzan system guarantees accurate tunnel navigation, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of tunnelling projects. TERRATEC’s highly skilled Field Service team will offer support throughout the tunnelling operation to ensure optimal performance and successful project completion.

The Bangkok Metro Purple Line, stretching 23.63km and serving the northwestern area of Bangkok from Tao Poon to Klong Bang Phai in Nonthaburi Province, is the city’s fifth rapid transit line. The southern extension, comprising a 14.3km underground section and a 9.3km elevated section, has begun construction in August 2022 and includes a total of 17 stations. It is expected to commence service in 2027.

Having made its first TBM sale in Thailand over a decade ago for the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) Blue Line Extension Project, TERRATEC has established a strong regional presence in the country. With a reputation for customized and durable TBM designs, prompt on-site support, a readily available stock of TBM spare parts, and specialized TBM assistance throughout the tunnelling process, TERRATEC has emerged as the premier TBM supplier in Thailand.
For more information visit: www.terratec.co

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