The first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) which will begin excavation of Scandinavia’s longest tunnel, Queen Eufemia and Queen Ellisiv, have been launched by Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.
Four TBMs will be used by the Acciona/Ghella joint venture delivering the project to construct the 18.5-kilometre twin-bore tunnel – part of the Follo Line Project – each named after historical female figures.
The TBMs were manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht before being transported in sections by road to the tunnel portal in Åsland, Norway, where they’ve been re-assembled.
The first two TBMs will set off towards Oslo while the second set, Anna from Klopp and Magda Flåtestad, will construct the section between Åsland and Ski.
Each 2,400-tonne TBM will bore around nine kilometres of tunnel in total – between 12 and 15 metres a day. Work is due to be completed by the end of 2018, ready for passenger service in 2021.
Fernando Vara, a project director from the Acciona/Ghella joint venture, said: “Now is when work really begins. We have been preparing to start TBM-tunnelling for a year and a half now, and I am proud to say we are ahead of schedule.
“We have established a good working relationship with the Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket) and a strong international team which work together with Norwegian managers and suppliers.”
The Follo Line Project will create a new 22-kilometre, double-track railway between Oslo Central Station and a new station in Ski.