Prequalification call for Oslo-Ski TBM link 15 May 2013
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
Prequalification documents have been issued by the National Rail Administration of Norway, Jernbaneverket, for the TBM excavation contract for the Follo Line railway tunnel project to link the capital city Oslo with the commuter city of Ski to the southeast. Issued on 10 May, the deadline for the request for prequalification (RFQ) is 19 June 2013.

TBMs to complete the majority of the Oslo-Ski rail connection

As the start of the Norway's high-speed railway network, the TBM contract represents 20km of 22km double track rail project between Oslo Central Station and a new public transport hub at the town of Ski. TBM excavation for the long twin tube tunnel confines construction to one mid-point access adit at a secluded rural site at Åsland, from where four TBMs will work two each in opposite directions to complete drives of up to 10km each south to the tunnel portals at Langhus and northwards to Bækkelaget.
Release of the invitation to prequalify marks the start of a comprehensive process towards finding a main construction group to build the longest railway tunnel ever in Norway and is the first step in a competition that has attracted keen interest from among the largest TBM tunnelling contractors in Europe and further afield.

Complex connection to the Oslo Central Station

Following evaluation, Jernbaneverket has confirmed that a minimum five and a maximum of seven successful prequalifiers will receive an invitation to submit a tender for the contract. The invitations to tender are due to be issued in Autumn of this year (2013).
According to a statement issued by Jernbaneverket, the prequalification process aims to identify construction groups that meet a set of criteria that includes;
• Project delivery experience
• Technical expertise and experience
• Financial and resources capacity
Together with the precast concrete segmentally lined TBM drive contract that includes drill+blast sections, the full Follo Line project comprises two further sub-projects - the approach and connection to the Oslo Central Station and the surface alignment into a new station at Ski.

Connection to the Ski station transportation hub

Following the start of preparatory work on the project in 2013, award of the proposed EPC (engineer, procure, construct) contract for the main tunnel contract is scheduled for Spring/Summer 2014 and for the main excavation and construction work to run from 2014 to 2020.
The Follo Line project is the first TBM twin bore railway tunnel in Norway and stated reasons for the adoption of twin tube TBM bored tunnel construction is future operation and maintenance, safety and optimum train/traffic handling. The new rail link will enable a 50% reduction in journey time between Oslo and the public transport hub at Ski, and provide a significant increase in capacity to and from Oslo.
TBMs will excavate the Oslo-Ski Follo Line - TunnelTalk, November 2012
Direct twin-tube route for Oslo-Ski railway - TunnelTalk, October 2010
International bid for Norway rail project - TunnelTalk, December 2008

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