First Crossrail TBM displayed in Schwanau

13 December 2011

Crossrail’s first TBM was fired up yesterday for guests at Herrenknecht’s factory in Schwanau, Germany. The 7.1m-diameter EPBM will be dismantled following factory tests and shipped to London to launch into the drive from the Royal Oak portal in March.

The contracting JV of Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier Construction (BFK) was awarded the contract to construct the western tunnels.

Ralph Lickert, a Herrenknecht project manager for Crossrail told T&TI, “This is a compact machine. You can see from walking through it that there isn’t much room. It is also powerful with over 55,000t of thrust and a high main drive torque [of 9,800kNm]. The belt scales are also of the highest achievable quality and are provided by [Australia-based] Control Systems Technology which was the only company able to meet the requirements.”

Factory acceptance took place on Friday.

Crossrail chief engineer, Chris Dulake, who cut a cake iced by Herrenknecht in the style of the TBM, said, “Work is continuing across the route to prepare for construction of the major new rail tunnels. Following the March launch, a second launch will occur from Royal Oak a few weeks later. The remaining TBMs will be launched from Limmo Peninsula in the Royal Docks heading towards Farringdon in late 2012; from Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead in 2013 and from Limmo Peninsula to Victoria Dock in 2014.”