Tunnel brings France and Italy closer together

A rail tunnel between Lyon and Turin will bring the two European countries even closer together in the future. Three Herrenknecht tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have already been delivered for the project. This week saw the ceremonial acceptance of the fourth of a total of five machines.

December 22, 2023, Schwanau, Germany A rail tunnel of superlatives will be built under Mont Cenis between Lyon and Turin. The entire section will be 57.5 kilometers long. Three tunnel boring machines from the German company Herrenknecht have already been delivered for this project. A fourth has now followed. It is the first to cross the border between France and Italy. With a diameter of 10.4 meters, a weight of 3,200 tons and a length of 334 meters, it will drive one of the two 18-kilometer-long tubes of the Mont-Cenis Base Tunnel.

The Gripper-TBM machine braces itself in the rock face with two so-called gripper shoes and pushes itself forward. Meanwhile, the drill head rotates with 62 cutting rollers and removes the rock from the face piece by piece. On the occasion of the ceremonial acceptance at the Herrenknecht plant Maurizio Bufalini, General Director of the client TELT, emphasized the European appeal of the overall project: "This is the first of two TBMs that will cross the border - the most tangible symbol of our project: a railroad that will connect Italy and France through the Alps and link our countries and Europe in a more efficient, economical and sustainable way." Company founder and CEO Dr.-Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht was also delighted. "The delivery of the Gripper TBM for the Mont-Cenis Base Tunnel is another historic milestone for Herrenknecht. We are very proud to be part of such a flagship project". The second tunnel boring machine of this type for the parallel tube will be accepted in Schwanau in February.

Client: TELT SAS
Contractors: Eiffage Génie Civil/Spie batignolles génie civil/Ghella Spa/Cogeis Spa JV
Application: Railway
Tunnelling length: 2 x 18,000m

Machine type: 2 x Gripper TBM S-1363 / S-1364
Diameter: 10,430mm
Cutterhead drive power: 4,900kW
Torque: 13,000kNm

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.