Congress, clients and codes

10 April 2019

If you are one of the 1,000 or so delegates at the World Tunnel Congress; benvenuto a Napoli. This year it is Europe’s turn to host WTC, with Naples being selected at the 2016 congress in San Francisco as the industry’s chosen gathering point.

From 3 to 9 May, delegates will be treated to the usual sea of papers on the traditional topics of tunnel design, construction, project management and innovations in civil and mechanical engineering both large and small. In addition, this year, the Italians have chosen to put a special focus on archaeology and art.

A cursory Internet search for Roman ruins uncovered by station excavation works for the Rome Metro or the architecturally stunning underground stations of Naples (try: ‘Toledo Station’) will leave the reader in no doubt why.

Andrea Pigorini, president of Italy’s tunnelling society (SIG) speaks further about the attractions of the Campanian capital and the WTC programme in his welcome to the industry.

Also in this issue, the British Tunnelling Society has called for input to inform the fourth revision of its Specification for Tunnelling.

In short, this guidance is used in many countries around the world and forms the basis of numerous project specifi cations, so the BTS is eager to get as many responses as possible from as wide a range of professionals as possible.

A blog has been set up to facilitate this, which can be found here:

This issue also contains the report from my own visit to the Bheri Babai Multipurpose Diversion Project, a job that is seen as a test case for mechanised tunnelling in Nepal.

During my visit I enjoyed pointing out to the client that while tunnelling was far ahead of schedule, other works on the project were going to be the bottleneck.

The opposite of what was predicted. For them, it is a good problem to have, and the advance rates have meant that they are re-evaluating some of their other projects that were thought to be infeasible with non-mechanised methods.

Aside from that, we have articles on the Spanish industry’s moves to win foreign work following the fi nancial crash, the conversion of a TBM on the Cairo Metro, the extension of the Helsinki Metro, and a paper that looks at efforts to pursue of more efficient SCL combined linings.

Whether you are at the congress or getting on with the job, enjoy.