Breakthrough for Florence

On February 27, 2024, the first of two Herrenknecht Tunnel Boring Machines – christened "Florence" – successfully reached the end of its 16km drive under the Chiltern Hills as part of High Speed 2 Phase 1 in the UK, which will connect London and Birmingham.

The TBM is being operated by Align, a joint venture that includes Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and Volker Fitzpatrick. Herrenknecht is supplying a total of twelve machines for the underground sections of High Speed 2. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht, founder and CEO of Herrenknecht AG, congratulates the miners and those responsible at the contractor Align JV: "The tunnelling and now the breakthrough at the Chiltern Tunnel are an excellent team effort by all those involved. Chapeau to this breakthrough!"


  • Client: High Speed Two Ltd.
  • Contractors: Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick)
  • Application: Railway
  • Drive length: 2 x 16,046m
  • Geology: Chalk


  • Machine type: 2 x Variable Density TBM
  • Diameter: 10,240mm
  • Cutterhead drive power: 3,500kW
  • Torque (max.): 16.350kNm

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.