Another Chinese TBM begins work in Moscow

7 May 2020

A Chinese-made shield TBM has started mining on Moscow’s Big Circle Line (BCL). The TBM will excavate two tunnels with a total length of 3km. The 10.88m diameter shield was produced in Shanghai by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and is the largest TBM China has exported to Europe. It is one of 18 TBMs working on the ‘big ring’.

Weighing in at 1,700 tons, ‘Victory’ began mining on 5 May 2020 and further highlights the level of technical co-operation between Russia and China. It is the first time a Chinese contractor has been commissioned to work on Moscow’s metro following CRCC’s win in 2017 of a USD400m contract to build the southwestern section of the line.

Components were shipped in 48 days from Shanghai through the Suez Canal, arriving at St Petersburg and then overland to Moscow. Six Chinese welders originally destined to work on the project and who could not because of Covid-19 were replaced by Russians. Assembly of the machine underground took 35 days.

Forecast to handle around 380 million people, the BCL will be 70km long with 31 stations and two maintenance facilities. Its opening will be phased and, when complete, will relieve congestion on the inner two circle lines.