Weighty works

15 May 2023

In this issue, the challenge of gauging what ground conditions most likely exist is examined in a paper based on research, tested in the field, that combines employs geostatistics to sampled borehole data to generate probabilities, especially of transitions in soil profiles.

A further paper presents research drawing on field data to consider and evaluate excavation speed options in light of the dissipative capacity of shotcrete shell support and the rock mass, with time.

Intricate and detailed studies, indeed. Weighty. With outputs that are most practical for designers and contractors planning for, and while undertaking, tunnelling projects.

Weight is considered elsewhere in the issue, in the focus on lifting and conveying capacity – the power and capability necessary to set up and prepare for major excavations. While TBMs with their drives underway get much of the glory, drawing the eye and with much attention to their performance, the preparatory endeavours to get them going, and keep them working, can offer visual feasts in themselves.

We take the approach, in this instance, of offering sights to see from a range of projects, also offering much for the practical eye to consider.

In the season of eyes and ear being drawn to presentations of projects, hot on the heels of the World Tunnel Congress (WTC) gathering in Athens, Greece – and while already looking ahead to the next major meeting, in Shenzhen, in China (mark your calendars for April 2024) – the most immediate, next, major conference for the industry is in North America, at the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC), in Boston.

This issue offers a preview of the mid-June programme of talks and a snapshot of a training course, focused on shotcrete, and also the exhibition.

Also from North America, a feature offers some industry perspectives of trends in trenchless tunnelling. Where Europe meets central Asia, though, in Istanbul, the plans for the UYAK 2023 conference are outlined, including the city’s major rail tunnel project in planning – Hizray.