TUNNELLING UNDERWAY

High Speed 2

HS2 has reached a major construction milestone – the first Tunnel Boring Machines have been launched through the Chilterns 

A total of 10 TBMs will be deployed to build the Phase One route between London and the West Midlands. First to be launched was Florence, named after nurse Florence Nightingale, who lived at nearby Claydon House; the other TBM is named after pioneering astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin.

The two machines, built by Herrenknecht, will excavate and line 10 miles of tunnels under the Chilterns over the next three years. They are operated by main works contractor Align –a joint venture formed of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick.

Each machine will dig the tunnel, line it with concrete segments and grout them into place at a rate of 15 metres per day. Each bore will require 56,000 fibre-reinforced segments, which are being made on site.

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