Tunnel Boring Machine 2,500t - Switzerland
Sliding of a 2,500t Tunnel Boring Machine 625m overland

scope of works performed

Sliding of a Tunnel Boring Machine
Weight: 2,500t
Length of the TBM: 110m
Distance: 625m


Herrenknecht, Germany


2010 First Sliding
2011 Second Sliding

Project Description

 2,500t on the move

VSL Heavy Lifting just completed a 625m overland transport of a tunnel boring machine in Biel, Switzerland. Client Herrenknecht opted for the transport in one piece including the entire trailing installation rather than dismantling and transporting lighter pieces of the 2500t machine from the finished tunnel to the next tunnel to drill. This required the development of a completely new sliding procedure.

The TBM was supported on 4 VSS-500 lift and slide skid shoes and propelled forward by 8 SLU-40 strand jacks. The route included curves, a 2.5% uphill and then a 3.7% downhill slope. While the uphill stretch was performed by pulling only, the downhill required braking by another 4 SMU-40. In 160 cycles of 4m each the TBM was lifted off ground by the VSS-500, slid forward and set down on ground again to allow the skid tracks to be pushed forward. The overall cruise speed was 7m/h.

The picture shows the passage between the abutments of a road bridge that was lifted off for the transfer. The 110m long vehicle had to pass through the gap in a 24h weekend time window.

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