Terratec News Release
- Excavation of running tunnels for the Blue Line Extension of the Bangkok Metro in Thailand is officially underway. On Friday August 24, Prime Minister of Thailand, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, joined officials of the Thailand Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) and managers of construction company Italian-Thai Development PCL to launch a Terratec 6.44m diameter EPBM as the first tunnelling machine on the project that will build the twin 5km-long running tunnels beneath the city's historic Chinatown and under the Chao Phraya River.
Prime Minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand (centre) officiates at the start of metro tunnelling works
- The new EPB machine is designed and produced by Terratec in cooperation with Japan Tunnel Systems Corporation (JTSC), a subsidiary of Japan's giant IHI Group. The EPB shield has been customized specifically for the Bangkok project and has an innovative IHI cone-type cutterhead designed for cutting through concrete piles that may be encountered on the underground alignment on the way.
- Terratec also provided the conveyor system for continuous conveyor muck haulage behind the machine as it advances.
- Advance of the machine is projected by the Ital-Thai construction team to average 10-15m/day, erecting a segmental lining comprising 1.2m wide rings of reinforced concrete segments as it progresses through ground anticipated to consist of soft to stiff clay. Layers of dense sand are also anticipated and the drives are under a ground water table of high hydrostatic pressure.
The 6.44m diameter Terratec EPBM with its individual cone-shaped cutterhead
- A team of Terratec engineers and operators were deployed to assist during the assembly and commissioning of the machine and conveyor system.
- The Terratec EPBM is the first tunnelling machine to work on the Bangkok Metro for more than ten years. It will excavate the 5km twin running tunnels of the southern section of the Blue Line Extension Contract 2 for Ital-Thai. The Blue Line Extension is the second phase of the subway system's development and comprises two sections; a 13km long northern elevated section from Bang Sue to Tha Phra and the 14km long southern extension from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae with its 5km long underground section under the river.
- The first part of the Blue Line, from the central Hua Lampong Railway Station in the south to Bang Sue Railway Station in the north, is the Initial System Project (ISP) of the city's Metro system and was constructed between 1996 and 2004 and on which Ital-Thai was also involved on different tunnelling contracts.
Metro additions to the current Blue Line Initial System Project
- Planned originally as an elevated line, the ISP consists of 22km of twin bored tunnels with 18 cut-and-cover stations and was completed using eight 6.3m diameter EPB TBMs through the soft soils and clays beneath Bangkok and excavated without any major incident. The ISP is the core of a 326km master plan, which has 42km running underground beneath highly sensitive areas of the city.
- With progress of the Blue Line Extension, two further metro projects are in design: the 24km long Orange Line from Bang Kapi in the northeast to Bang Bumru in the west, most of which is underground, and the 40km Purple Extension Line of which 14.2km and 11 of the 30 stations is planned underground.
- The Blue Line north and south extensions are designed to further mitigate the growing traffic congestion problems in the metropolitan area of Bangkok and better serve commuters from outlying areas. They are due to be complete and in service by 2015.
2012 WTC International ITA conference, Bangkok, Thailand - TunnelCast, May 2012
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