TBM prepares for launch on Vienna’s subway expansion project

German tunnelling and mining equipment manufacturer Herrenknecht has delivered a large TBM (tunnel boring machine) to the city of Vienna, to aid the expansion of its subway system.

The TBM set to excavate a new subway tunnel beneath Vienna, Austria The TBM set to excavate a new subway tunnel beneath Vienna, Austria. Photo: Herrenknecht

The EPB Shield (earth pressure balance) shield TBM has been specifically designed to excavate the sort of clay geology found beneath the Austrian capital.

Once launched, the 120m-long machine, weighing some 1,200 tonnes and with a cutting diameter of 6.84m, will excavate a 2.1km tunnel between the future Matzleinsdorfer Platz station and Augustinplatz.

After completing the first tube, the machine will be pulled back through the precast concrete segmentally lined tunnel, preparing for the subsequent drive of the parallel tube from Matzleinsdorfer Platz.

Joint-venture project

The expansion project is being led by the joint venture, Arge U2, comprising the contractors Strabag and Porr. It is being undertaken on behalf of Wiener Linien, the Vienna subway operator.

The construction work will see the subway extend line 2 from Vienna City Hall to the southern reaches of the city.

Ralph Lickert, project manager at Herrenknecht, said, “The Herrenknecht EPB Shield is the optimal machine type for the predominantly clayey geology that we expect according to the preliminary investigations.”

The city anticipates that the investment in line extensions will create and secure approximately 30,000 jobs in the region.


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