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    High speed in London


High speed in London.

A visit to Europe's largest
construction site.

If things have to progress quickly and absolutely safely on 10 routes, comprehensive service comes into play.

Read more



High speed in London.
A visit to Europe‘s largest construction site.

Author: Bernd Hauser
Photography: Günther Bayerl

________________ In London eight Herrenknecht tunnel boring machines are creating a continuous rail link through the megacity. To maintain the safety, quality and performance demanded by the client Crossrail Ltd, each day the construction companies rely on Herrenknecht‘s service and support. Around the clock, specialists from the company provide assistance to the engineers and workers on the construction sites with advice and practical support. A visit to Limmo Peninsula, the main point of attack for Contract C 305 – one of the most important sections of the tunnelling work.

Roger Escoda smiles only rarely, and small talk is not his thing. The Catalan is concentration and seriousness personified. Get to the point, says his look. Time is short. “We are under great pressure,” Escoda emphasizes. “We are building railway tunnels through the heart of a metropolis! All London is watching us. We can‘t afford delays or mistakes.”

View across Limmo Peninsula. The worksite is the main point of attack for Contract C 305 – an important section of the tunnelling work under London.

Roger Escoda, 39, is tunnel manager at Crossrail Joint Venture DSJV and responsible for construction of the tunnels in Contract C 305.

Europe's largest construction project

________________ Escoda, 39, a slim man with graying temples, is Tunnel Manager at DSJV, a joint venture between Spanish company Dragados and John Sisk & Son from Ireland. With 25 engineers and 250 workers he is building the twin-bore tunnels of Contract C 305 of Crossrail – the largest construction project in Europe. An east-west railway alignment is being struck right through the center of the metropolitan region with its 8 million inhabitants: a new main artery for the congested traffic in the mega city.

The 14.8 billion pound project is a veritable tunnel marathon: the three contracted joint ventures are building 42 kilometers in their three sections. All of them are relying on tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Herrenknecht. A total of eight machines are being used, six Earth Pressure Balance Shields and two Mixshields. With millimeter tolerance they are boring through the bowels of the city, a maze of sewers, gas pipelines, building foundations, subway lines and shafts. Sometimes they almost touch the existing infrastructure – in some places the distance to the Crossrail tunnels is less than half a meter.

Safety first

________________ The schedule is tight, but it‘s not just about the fastest possible advance. “We have four goals: safety, environmental protection, quality and performance – in that order,” says Tunnel Manager Escoda. Great Britain is a world leader in occupational safety: “This is a good thing - every man should return healthy to his family after every shift.” Environmental protection is also extremely important: “We are working with oils and other hazardous materials that must not get into the groundwater or the Thames.” But because the safety and environmental regulations are strict and time-consuming, Escoda must rely all the more on the machines and service from Herrenknecht to complete the tunnels in his section between Farringdon in the west and Victoria Dock in the east on time.

A total of eight machines from Herrenknecht are in use for the whole Crossrail project, on three lots with a total distance of 42 km.

Top: Container stores on site guarantee the rapid replacement of wear parts.

Bottom: Check during assembly at Limmo Peninsula.

Record achievements through optimal cooperation

________________ The TBMs work around the clock, seven days a week. Herrenknecht guarantees they are operational 90 percent of the time. In fact, levels of 95 percent and more are achieved. This is possible because Herrenknecht specialists are at the side of the construction companies‘ employees with their experience. They check components and replace worn parts with new ones, which are kept in stores at the worksites. They train the operators, accompany them on the machines around the clock, give advice during the drive. Such as, how changing small parameters in the control system can make the drive even more efficient and safer. And so records like these are made possible: in midApril S-722, named “Ellie”, managed a distance of 72 meters in 24 hours.

Sebastian Kohlmeier, Herrenknecht Service Project Manager in London for Section C 305

Closeness to the customer as a USP

________________ “Herrenknecht always try to satisfy us with their service,” says Roger Escoda in his office at Limmo Peninsula in East London. “The company doesn‘t just sell a machine and then only leave a phone number. The Herrenknecht people are actually always on site: I have a contact any time I need one.”

On this day in mid-August too: Escoda hurries out of the large office where a good dozen of his planners pore over drawings and spreadsheets. He takes a few steps across the corridor to the austerely equipped Herrenknecht site office. In the meeting room he consults with Sebastian Kohlmeier, 30, a mechanical engineer and Herrenknecht Service Project Manager for Section C 305.

Kohlmeier was still a graduate student at the University of Dresden when he came to Herrenknecht: in his master‘s thesis in the area of research and development he dealt with the question of how the gripper unit of hard rock TBMs could be further improved. “We are very close to the customer. That is our USP,”says Kohlmeier. “We don‘t know nine to five. Our philosophy is: the machines have to run. We only call it a day when everything is running smoothly.”

Top: Recovery of TBM “Ellie” in the shaft at Stepney Green.

Bottom: Mechanics from Herrenknecht and DSJV work hand in hand to disassemble the TBM.

Time savings thanks to logistics know-how

________________ Roger Escoda and Sebastian Kohlmeier discuss the details of an agreed plan change: at Stepney Green, where the alignment forks, “Ellie” has successfully broken through into the access shaft. Now she is being recovered there and the individual parts brought to Limmo Peninsula on heavy trucks. Here “Ellie” – like her sister “Jessica” (S-721) before her already – is to do the last part of her job in London and push 900 meters towards the east.

At Limmo Peninsula a main and an auxiliary shaft were sunk for the construction work; the original plan was that “Ellie” would be assembled in the auxiliary shaft while the back-up would be lowered through the main shaft. But because “Jessica” was able to finish her job at Limmo Peninsula faster than planned, there is now enough space to lower and assemble all of “Ellie” through the auxiliary shaft. While this is going on the main shaft can already be used for the logistics of the lining work. “Altogether this change saves us a week”, says Escoda. “But we were only able to organize it with the input of the experts from Herrenknecht: they know the details of the machine, they were able to tell us whether and how our plan is technically feasible.”

Forward planning allows customized solutions

________________ On this August day Escoda and Kohlmeier also discuss the dismantling of the machines S-719 (“Elizabeth”) and S-720 (“Victoria”), which are currently still on their way westwards - although this disassembly is not for another nine months. “Forward planning is everything in our service. When the machines are working, I am already planning many months ahead for the disassembly and the transfers to other sections,” says Sebastian Kohlmeier after the meeting. “At the bifurcation point Stepney Green, for example, the shaft is so narrow that the back-up must be lifted out at an angle – that takes advance planning and coordination because our engineers in Schwanau need to design stiffeners, and they have to be welded on to the equipment on site.”

Only thanks to special stiffeners can the TBM parts be safely recovered raised at an angle during recovery from the narrow shaft at Stepney Green.

“With such a sensitive project the most comprehensive construction supervision possible is crucial.”

Frank Jenkins, Crossrail Construction Manager

Top: Construction Manager Frank Jenkins monitors the work on Contract C 305 for Crossrail.

Bottom: From 2018 approximately 200 million passengers a year will use the new Crossrail routes.

Monitoring and analysis for safety

________________ A floor above Herrenknecht and DSJV, Frank Jenkins, 47, Crossrail Construction Manager, works in the site office. With his team of engineers, geologists and inspectors he monitors the work on section C 305 for the client: “Of course this is a sensitive project. There are many players who have valid concerns.” Such as building owners who are afraid that their property could be exposed to subsidence damage. Or energy suppliers with their gas pipelines underground. “Therefore the most comprehensive construction supervision possible is crucial,” explains Jenkins. Each day there is a meeting with DSJV in which all the machine and ‚as-built‘ parameters of every tunnel ring installed are analyzed with the help of numerous data and graphics.

And like Escoda and Kohlmeier, Jenkins also emphasizes the importance of early and collaborative planning: “We‘re talking about a large contract. Money that comes from taxpayers. We have to be efficient.” For example, initially Crossrail wanted to buy six TBMs for the section C 305: “But then we saw that with the support and expertise of Herrenknecht, within just three months we could disassemble machines at Stepney Green and reassemble them at Limmo Peninsula – and thus save the purchase of two machines.”

Benefits for other projects too

________________ Jenkins sees a great future for tunnel builders in England: “Many large projects are due to start in the coming years, for example for the High Speed Rail or improvements to the subway system in London.” These future projects would benefit from the experience gained at Crossrail. “In any event, with their performance here DSJV and Herrenknecht certainly recommend themselves for future projects,” says Frank Jenkins.

The underground system in London, here Liverpool Street Station, is to be further developed and improved by more large-scale projects in the future.

Service technician Dedlef Smeets has worked for Herrenknecht on construction sites around the world for 16 years already.

Millimeter precision with a 72 tonne colossus

________________ Back in his office, Sebastian Kohlmeier is meanwhile lacing up his safety shoes. Because while the last back-up for “Ellie” is being recovered at the Stepney Green shaft, her cutting wheel is already hanging from the crane hook at Limmo Peninsula. It has a diameter of seven meters. Carefully the crane operator lowers the cutting wheel into the depths. With millimeter accuracy the 72 tonne colossus must be precisely placed via radio so it can be bolted onto the main drive with 112 double-ended studs.

“Two centimeters up!” shouts Herrenknecht technician Dedlef Smeets from inside the front shield. “Very, very slowly, please!” The cutting wheel is not precisely perpendicular in the air because the rotary coupling makes it tilt slightly downward. Claude Metz from the Alsace and Spaniard Jorge Zapico, both responsible for the electrical service of the machine, help as a matter of course. They attach chain hoists to the cutting wheel. Gasping like bodybuilders lifting weights, they pull the lower half of the wheel toward the main drive. Engineer Kohlmeier also steps in and helps with the fine adjustment.

Finally the holes of the cutting wheel and the main drive for the 700 millimeter long threaded spindles fit exactly over each other and they can be inserted. Now the DSJV workers can handle it on their own: they put washers with the diameter of a saucer in place and tighten the spindles with fist-sized nuts. Claude Metz quickly says goodbye and rushes to the elevator to catch his flight. After ten days with twelve-hour shifts he is going home on leave for four days, at home in Alsace his two sons await him.

The cutting wheel is lifted by crane 45 m into the depths and then adjusted with millimeter precision by hand.

The greatest challenges have already been overcome

________________ “We only supervise the assembly, but with our years of experience we know the basic tricks, and that makes us so valuable,” says Sebastian Kohlmeier: “Naturally when it comes down to it, if necessary we give a hand too.” Dedlef Smeets, 40, wipes the sweat from his forehead. “Was it a good day?” “Yes. But I am not quite satisfied,” he says with his Dutch accent. “It would have been better if we had been able to push the shield forward already and bring down the first back-up.”

And yet they are still well on schedule. The men still have almost a month before “Ellie” must be ready to start her last stage. The greatest challenges were thus already behind them, says Sebastian Kohlmeier. For example, the construction of a monorail in the western section of the tunnel, which was developed by engineers in Schwanau specifically for Crossrail: “The access shaft was very narrow, only with the help of this crane runway was it possible to dismantle the machines S-705 and S-706 safely and quickly.”

When working with the extremely heavy individual segments in the narrow launch and target shafts, teamwork and precise coordination are absolute prerequisites.

Service as the foundation of project success: collection and analysis of all data from the drive for joint identification of improvement potential.

Exact plans as a basis for safe and fast implementation on site

________________ Kohlmeier is especially proud of how the future Crossrail station at Canary Wharf was driven through. Tracks were laid, consoles welded to the machine‘s shield and moving skates placed underneath. For the back-up, engineers in Schwanau designed special shunting units. In this way it was possible to shunt the entire 150 meter long TBM on tracks through the 250 meter long station – without time-consuming and costly disassembly and reassembly work. An additional challenge for the structural engineers: the right rail had to run on an approximately 50 centimeter high pedestal. “The movement only took seven days, coordination between client and designers, on the other hand, took up a lot more time,” says Kohlmeier.

Despite their pride in their own achievements, all the players know they depend on each other. “What we are creating here will remain in existence for decades and centuries,” says Tunnel Manager Roger Escoda seriously. “But it would be unfair to emphasize my own role. Basically this only works because everyone sees each other as partners: we are working towards a common goal.”

When time pressure is business as usual: despite the most careful planning, on site, fast and sometimes unconventional solutions are called for.

Real construction site experts up close


In the spotlight.

Utility Tunnelling
under high pressure.

Experts from Herrenknecht support a long-distance
pipe jacking drive under the Elbe near Hamburg.

Watch video


6 challenges

6 solutions




Highlights in focus.

Service engineering
for special challenges.





Successful cooperation all along the line. Through teamwork to breakthrough in one of the most challenging tunnel projects ever.

Above: At all stages of the project, a lively and constructive exchange took place between the tunnelling specialists from Herrenknecht and Skanska-Vinci.





Original cutterhead

Modified cutterhead

Thanks to the modified cutterhead, wear on the second half of the first tunnel tube was reduced by up to 50%.

The double-tube Hallandsås Tunnel for the expansion of the rail link between Göteborg and Malmö is one of the most challenging tunnel projects in the world. The geological conditions under the Hallandsås range are among the most complex ever tackled in tunnelling.

For this reason, the tunnelling project is carried out in close cooperation between the joint venture building contractors Skanska-Vinci and the field service specialists from Herrenknecht. From the TBM transport and site assembly through the excavation of the 2 tubes to the final breakthrough in 2013. During the TBM assembly already in an upstream cavern, both sides rely on each other's many years of experience to ensure smooth work processes and get the machine totally ready for its extraordinary mission.

After 2.5 kilometers of tunnelling through the hard, sometimes extremely heterogeneous rock formations, some components, especially at the cutterhead, are severely worn despite constant maintenance work. To minimize this excessive wear on the further tunnel route, Herrenknecht together with Skanska and Vinci develops a modified cutterhead based on the experiences gained in the first section. The modifications include, among other things, a change in geometry and the mounting of 19" instead of 17" disc cutters. This reduces the wear on the remaining 3,000 meters of the first tube by up to 50 percent.

To ensure a consistently high quality and availability of all spare and wear parts for the TBM, the client commissions Herrenknecht with the setting up of a permanent consignment stock on site under its own direction. In addition, experienced service staff from Herrenknecht is practically always on site. This ensures that both scheduled maintenance intervals and unforeseen challenges can be mastered on time and in a professional manner. As a result, on September 4, 2013, after eight years of relentless advance, the successful breakthrough can be celebrated in Sweden.


Herrenknecht serves the regional market with 4 separate locations. New sales and service subsidiary opened in Qatar.

Above: Leading quality and technology standards and absolute delivery reliability for TBMs, additional equipment and services provide certainty for the project success of the new metro in Doha.





Together for Qatar's transport infrastructure: a Herrenknecht subsidiary in Doha provides all-round services on site.

Service specialists from Herrenknecht and local experts work hand in hand to ensure an efficient advance.

For more than 20 years, Herrenknecht has served the market in the Middle East sales region with top German technology from Schwanau. Utility and Traffic Tunnelling machines have already been used in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. With the delivery of a total of 21 EPB Shields (Ø 7.1m) for the construction of the first section of the Doha Metro and 2 EPB Shields (Ø 4.65m) for the complex expansion of the water and sewerage system in Doha, since early 2014 the long success story of Herrenknecht in the Middle East is being continued.

Moreover, additional equipment such as navigation systems, belt conveyor systems, segment moulds and multi-service vehicles from our subsidiaries are an important part of the two large orders. As well as an extensive service package, since the regular inspection and maintenance of the machines and their spare and wear parts management over more than 130 kilometers of tunnels play a crucial role in the success of the project.

For customer-oriented management of the technically extensive service package Herrenknecht has built a new center of excellence in Doha, including an assembly shop. The special feature: sales and service professionals from Schwanau cooperate hand in hand with global specialists from other Herrenknecht branches and local experts. Thanks to this ideal combination, customers and clients can be offered the best possible solutions. The services include technical and commercial support in all matters relating to tunnelling technology, TBM assembly, provision of specialist personnel, assistance during tunnelling, spare and wear parts management or the maintenance and refurbishment of the used cutting tools.

This concept with local service subsidiaries has already proven itself on other major projects such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland. Clients and construction companies involved benefit equally from the decades of experience of our mechanics and experts. Herrenknecht is thus well positioned for continuation of the service success story in the Middle East. Now with a total of 4 regional locations in Jeddah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha for the support of current and future Traffic and Utility Tunnelling projects.


Remote monitoring in the city of the Muslims. New remote monitoring system allows continuous tunnelling support in Mecca.

Above: As part of the extensive preparations in Schwanau, the customer's site crew was trained in detail in all machine functions.





Well-prepared for the jobsite: During factory assembly in Schwanau the EPB machine was assembled and tested with the minimal curve radius of only 80m.

To handle the ever increasing numbers of pilgrims in the "holy city" of Mecca, the underground infrastructure of the metropolis is being expanded. To this end, two EPB Shields (Ø 3,510mm) from Herrenknecht are driving two 1.5 and 1.8km long sewage tunnels with segmental lining. Since the tunnelling routes run directly under the city center and close to the Kaaba, uplift or subsidence at the surface must be avoided at all costs. A complex alignment route with extremely tight curve radii of only 80 meters complicates things further.

The special challenge of the project, however, is another. Only Muslims are allowed to enter the city of Mecca. Neither before nor during the project can project managers or service staff from Herrenknecht visit the construction site. Therefore, others solutions are necessary: extensive training sessions are held for the customer's Muslim TBM personnel during factory assembly in Schwanau. In addition, a completely new remote monitoring system is developed. The control cabin in the tunnelling machine is quasi duplicated. This allows a machine operator in Schwanau to track and monitor the drive in real time around the clock via cameras and displays. In addition, wireless tablet PCs are available to the customer on the entire tunnel boring machine that transmit live images directly to Schwanau. If necessary, with no loss of time, the operator in Schwanau can contact the machine operator or the TBM crew in Mecca to initiate corrective action where appropriate. A drive as smooth as possible is thus ensured, and at the same time the know-how of the customer's personnel is continuously improved.


Continuous tunnelling optimization thanks to ongoing support. After Sales Project Manager from Herrenknecht assists customer with site management.

Above: Exact logistics planning needed: in areas with hard rock only invert segments are installed, while in less stable sections segment rings are put in place.





With two mobile container cutter shops, the customer's maintenance crew can now professionally refurbish the disc cutters by themselves.

In Sri Lanka a large hydropower project for irrigation and electricity generation is currently being carried out in the Province of Uva. Two Double Dhield TBMs from Herrenknecht (Ø 4.3m) are being used. The sister machines are driving two 15.2 and 3.6 kilometer long connection tunnels through genuinely hard rock - with rock strengths up to 250MPa.

Since the customer has little experience with the complex double shield technology, Herrenknecht is fully involved in the project in an advisory function even before tunnelling begins. And not only in the area of machine technology, but also, for example, in logistics planning and site management. Once the drive begins the customer has an experienced After Sales Project Manager providing him with support directly on site. He helps with all TBM issues such as spare and wear parts management, but also with the coordination of all parties involved in the project. To this end, a higher level, globally accessible system for process data management, the Herrenknecht subsidiary VMT's IRIS system (Integrated Risk and Information System), is deployed to improve communication in the tunnel and on the large construction site.

The ongoing support is already paying off during tunnelling. At the beginning, because of the extremely hard geology, it was only possible to excavate a few millimeters of rock per cutterhead revolution. Thanks to close cooperation with the cutter specialists from Schwanau a new tool concept was therefore developed and implemented and drive parameters such as contact pressure and cutterhead speed adapted exactly to the geology based on past experience. Meanwhile the advance rate has more than doubled and downtime was reduced by 30%. Now another Herrenknecht Project Manager for cutting tools is to speed up the advance of the sister machine.

For the immediate maintenance of worn disc cutters Herrenknecht has also provided the site with two mobile container cutter shops. After extensive training, the customer's maintenance crew can now professionally refurbish the disc cutters by themselves.


Special construction for unusual TBM transport. TBM transport over 800m saves time and costs.

Above: Thanks to the special construction the EPB Shield with a diameter of 12.56m could be moved twice in one piece over the entire distance of 800m.





A busy road bridge was dismantled before the transfer, the TBM then safely maneuvered through the bottleneck and the bridge immediately reassembled. The traffic could thus continue to flow normally again after only 24 hours.

In Switzerland in the years 2009 to 2012, one of the last gaps in the Swiss national road network is closed with an EPB Shield (Ø 12,560mm ) from Herrenknecht. "Belena" safely and quickly completes a total of 4 tunnels for the Biel eastern bypass on the A5 expressway.

To save time in the overall project it is decided to transport the TBM twice fully assembled over an 800m long open route. The most difficult obstacle is a busy road bridge, which offers only a minimum time window for a closure to impede vehicle traffic as little as possible.

For this logistical challenge Herrenknecht together with the customer Porr designs and builds a special construction to transport the TBM. It allows shifting of the entire machine including back-up over the whole distance without prior disassembly. After preparation time of 6 weeks each, the two transfers can be realized in only 11 and 7 days respectively. Distances of up to 120 m per shift are covered. The bridge is dismantled for only 24 hours each time and can then be immediately reassembled and driven on.

The special construction results in substantial savings for the customer. The total construction period is shortened by the omission of assembly and disassembly as well as the usual transport measures by approximately 9 months. In addition, the costs for disassembly, transport, reassembly and the provision of cranes can be greatly reduced.


Customized local spare parts management. Machine operator helps customer entering the tunnelling business.

Above: Thanks to the support of the experienced machine operator, so far all objectives in IFG pipe jacking projects were exactly met.





For the partially very deep sewage network in Abu Dhabi, launch and reception shafts up to 50m deep must be created.

Since the turn of the millennium, already more than 80 Herrenknecht Utility Tunnelling machines have been and are being used for the expansion of the water and sewer lines in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). For 2 years IFG (International Foundation Group) has also been one of our customers. The construction company is actually an expert in sinking shafts. Meanwhile, with the support of the local Herrenknecht branch in Abu Dhabi, IFG has also specialized in pipe jacking and built up its own machine park, ranging from an AVN400 to an AVN2400 with an outer diameter of 3,600mm. With the latter several drives for a section of the large-scale STEP project are currently being undertaken. Already two drives with a length of almost 500 meters each have been carried out - at depths of up to 40 meters. This makes them the deepest sewer tunnels ever built in the UAE.

Since entering the tunnelling Business IFG has relied on local service support from Herrenknecht. One of our most experienced machine operators was present at every IFG construction project and parallel to the drive also helped with spare parts management. A continuous drive is thus ensured and problems on the site can be resolved quickly and directly. Thanks to optimum spare parts management on site there has been no machine-related downtime until now. The positive experiences made working together on these projects were so convincing that IFG has booked the Herrenknecht machine operator well in advance for the upcoming drives.



And what's behind it.

Meters, months, man hours: Service can be measured against facts.


cutter changes not required. During driving of the 2nd tunnel in Saverne an innovative cutting ring considerably reduced the number of cutter changes needed.


on the job by our machine operators and supervisors on Utility
Tunnelling projects around the world in 2013.


instead of 3 weeks: using a newly developed rail construction two
1,000 t Crossrail TBMs are moved in one piece through a metro station from the breakthrough area to the launch area in just a few days.

0.01 mm

precisely measured insights into not easily accessible TBM components. Endoscopic stereo measurement can quickly deliver absolutely precise insights into deeply concealed structures – for example of main bearings. Disassembly work on site is thus not necessary. Watch video


orders per month are handled by our central service warehouse in Schwanau. Urgently needed spare parts are quickly delivered to construction sites around the world. Watch video


maximum lift load is enough for a TBM installation at a depth of 490 m. Thanks to a segmented TBM design, all components of the 160 t TBM for a nuclear waste repository can be safely lowered with a 5 t lift.


supervision, in real time for a 1.5 and
a 1.8 km drive in Mecca. Tunnelling specialists in Schwanau support the 4,000 km distant Muslim tunnelling
crew around the clock from an almost completely duplicated control cabin.


faster to the destination on the Biel Bypass tunnel project: a fully assembled 12.5 m Ø TBM is twice moved 800 m to the next deployment site in just a few days, despite the hindrance of a bridge.



All Around Service.

Comprehensive services
to improve performance.

As the market leader Herrenknecht offers its clients the latest tunnelling technology together with clearly structured and reliable services.

Click interactively through our 5 service core competencies.


Installation services

Complete solutions from A to Z

Extensive technical and logistical planning is a prerequisite for the on-schedule assembly, reconfiguration and disassembly of a TBM on the jobsite. Herrenknecht has experience from hundreds of successfully completed projects. On this basis, we offer a holistic range of technical services and expertise providing great potential to optimize interfaces and save the customer time, work and costs.

The transport of large- and small-diameter machines and components or delivery to remote jobsites that are difficult to access are among the first logistical challenges of a tunnelling project. On site, all necessary tools and machine components, the entire jobsite equipment and qualified staff for the assembly and commissioning must be available - at the right time and at the right place. We can support the setup and logistics of the tunnel boring machine in close coordination with those responsible on site. On request, the service package includes the complete project management and process planning covering everything from delivery from the factory to the start of tunnelling works on the jobsite.

Your contact person:
Alain Gerber
Segment Manager Project Management Field Service | Traffic Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-6997

Dieter Stiefel
Team Leader After Sales Service - Technics | Utility Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-9000


Learn more on our company website


Highly-qualified personnel for all requirements

Mechanized tunnelling is a niche market which requires highly specialized personnel. At the same time, comprehensive technical expertise in various disciplines such as hydraulics, electrics or additional equipment is extremely important to understand the entire tunnelling processes and provide optimum assistance. Herrenknecht provides specialists who enable the safe and efficient operation of tunnelling systems of any diameter and the necessary additional equipment during all project phases as required. From installation and commissioning, assistance during tunnelling to final disassembly.

Depending on the project requirements, Herrenknecht or our subsidiary Global Tunnelling Experts can provide project managers, supervisors, assembly teams, technicians, electricians, PLC specialists, hydraulic specialists, metalworkers, welders, surveyors or TBM operators. Through extensive and intensive training courses we also provide know-how to the customers' staff on demand. Moreover, Herrenknecht specialists are available to refurbish excavation tools, jobsite equipment and complete tunnelling systems.

Your contact person:
Alain Gerber
Segment Manager Project Management Field Service | Traffic Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-6997

Rainer Hammerschmidt
Team Leader Operator Support + Services | Utility Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-1450


Learn more on our company website

Excavation tools

Efficient and reliable excavation tool management

Exchanging worn tools with high-quality replacement tools at the right time is a basic prerequisite for high tunnelling performances and the efficiency of each tunnel project. Thousands of kilometers of tunnel around the world have been successfully excavated in diverse ground conditions and in all diameters using excavation tools made by Herrenknecht.

Excavation tools that are worn out in projects are refurbished in Herrenknecht's cutter shops at the company's production sites and retransported to the jobsite on time and as needed. Alternatively, Herrenknecht delivers individual components or the complete cutter shop in the form of a container system for direct on-site refurbishment. The refurbishment and replacement of tools is recorded in detail in a professional cutter database for each project. Wear and tear as well as the corresponding costs can be monitored precisely, and future maintenance and replacement intervals can be planned exactly.

These services are rounded off by technical consultancy in specific areas. This makes it possible to develop intelligent, project-specific excavation strategies for the interplay between contact pressure, advance rate and other key tunnelling parameters, whereby cutter wear and the resulting wear costs can be reduced.

Your contact person:
José Remesal-Weinbrecht
Team Leader Field Service | Traffic Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-1060

Dieter Stiefel
Team Leader After Sales Service - Technics | Utility Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-9000


 Learn more on our company website

Spare and wear parts

Customized and professional spare and wear parts management

Tunnel boring machines are highly complex systems, and their performance also depends on the supply of spare and wear parts according to individual needs and time requirements. A chain of complex process steps must be planned and supervised, ranging from the first proposal lists until delivery to the jobsite. Herrenknecht can help construction companies competently to master this logistics challenge thanks to its many years of jobsite experience and its worldwide service network. From needs assessment, in-house production or ordering from producers or distributors to delivery or efficient storage, including inventory optimization.

As the leading market and technology manufacturer, we have a great understanding of the optimum interaction between machine, auxiliary components and external influences. Upon request, we provide a contact person in the project for all spare and wear parts who knows the TBM and all its components inside out. This allows for a consistently high supply quality and thus a high availability of the tunnelling system. A competently-run consignment warehouse or delivery on a running meter basis can save time and human capacities, depending on the project conditions. In addition, if required we offer high-quality refurbishment of components in the factory or on the jobsite.

Your contact person:
Florian Köppl
Segment Manager Global Field Services | Traffic Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-5860

Dieter Stiefel
Team Leader After Sales Service - Technics | Utility Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-9000


Learn more on our company website


Fit for the next mission in record time

Tunnel boring machines with larger diameters are unique units that are specifically designed and built for the requirements of a particular project. Nevertheless, they can be used again after project completion if the conditions are suitable. However, a systematic examination, professional refurbishment and, if necessary, an adaptation of individual components in line with the new project requirements must be carried out before reuse. Herrenknecht can individually address these with its global network of production and service locations. This saves time and costs, without impairing the performance of the TBM.

The first step before a TBM can be reused is a comprehensive analysis. The needs and challenges of the new project are aligned with the condition and design of the TBM. Working closely together with the project managers, Herrenknecht draws up a detailed calculation of costs and a realistic schedule for the systematic disassembly, refurbishment and / or modification of the tunnel boring machine. This includes engineering and operations planning (sequence planning) and a list of the required skilled personnel, spare and wear parts, and (special) tools and equipment. If necessary, further TBM adjustments must be made in line with the specific project requirements, for example, to the excavation diameter, the geology, the tunnel face support, the removal of the excavated material or the tunnel lining.

Your contact person:
Alejandro Velez
Project Manager Field Service | Traffic Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-1850

Andreas Messner
Head of Rental Equipment | Utility Tunnelling
Phone +49 7824 302-1929


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