Wanting is good, boring is terrific!
– Congratulations to the German tunnel boring machine pioneer on his 80th birthday!

Martin Herrenknecht, founder and Chairman of the Board of Herrenknecht AG, is a pioneering maker from Schwanau, Baden-Württemberg. In 1977, he founded the Herrenknecht company. Since then, he has been building state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines that have been involved in more than 5,700 projects worldwide. We, his employees, are proud to do our math today: 1,577 large diameter breakthroughs over 45 years!!! Summed up together, that’s 4,493 km of built tunnels for metro and railway lines alone.  

From the start, Herrenknecht's machines have been realizing sustainable infrastructure projects with high civil impact together with partners and for demanding customers around the world, connecting the subsoil and the earth's surface in innovative ways, connecting parts of a country and even world regions with each other.

Today, we pause for a moment to congratulate you, Mr. Herrenknecht: our warmest and best wishes for your eightieth birthday! Never back, always forward! Or, as you like to say, "Think positive. Together we are building our future!"

A story that keeps moving forward

1977 – In the beginning: an idea

When Martin Herrenknecht founded Herrenknecht GmbH in 1977, no one knew the groundbreaking success that would set in motion. From the passion of a small team of technology-loving engineers, a globally operating group developed. The thirst for progress created milestones in tunnelling technology. And from the courage to prove themselves evolved masterpieces of tunnel construction. But that's nowhere near the end of the adventure: the future promises more.

1977 to 1987

It is said that every beginning is difficult. That was no different with Herrenknecht. But the passion and pioneering spirit of the start-up phase quickly paid off. What's good is convincing, after all. Only two years after launching, with six employees Herrenknecht hit the first million in sales in euros. This was followed by numerous technological advancements and in 1984 the first foreign subsidiary in Sunderland, England.

1988 to 1997

The second Herrenknecht decade was clearly distinguished by growth and further development. In all areas. More employees, more innovations, more orders, more subsidiaries and more locations. The decade was crowned with a world record: for the construction of the 4th Elbe River Tunnel, the world's largest Mixshield (14.20 meters in diameter) was used – designed and built by Herrenknecht.

1998 to 2007

Pioneers lead the way and go on ahead. Always moving forward. We created the best prerequisites for leading the way with the transformation from a limited liability GmbH to an AG stock corporation as well as a strategic orientation toward Asia. That quickly had an effect. Thus, for Herrenknecht the millennium ended with a milestone: the market leadership in mechanized tunnelling technology. But resting on our laurels is not our way of doing things. We keep moving forward. Always. The epoch-making Gotthard Base Tunnel, the new diameter world record of 15.43 meters in Shanghai, the first geothermal deep drilling rig or the innovative Direct Pipe® method – Herrenknecht's pioneering technology ensures continuous progress underground.

2008 to 2017

30 years after the founding of the company and countless records later, it is hard to believe that this can still be topped. The family-owned company Herrenknecht has become a figurehead of the German economy and a prime example of a globally active hidden champion. But Herrenknecht continues to move forward. We established ourselves in new markets with our Exploration and Mining business areas. In Doha, for the first time 21of our EPB shields were in operation at the same time. In Hong Kong we again raised the record diameter to 17.6 meters. With the Eurasia Tunnel under the Bosphorus and the Hallandsås Tunnel in Sweden, once again we completed absolute pioneering projects. And enthroned above them all: the final breakthrough on the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Today and the future

After four decades, Martin Herrenknecht's team now comprises around 5,000 employees in more than 30 countries. And all of them are working together with you to create the next milestone underground. A new chapter is being written. It's going to be very exciting.



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Your contact person Contact us

Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.