Ten thousand visitors come to see the Viktoria tunnel boring machine and walk through a new four kilometer tunnel.
Released: 10. 9. 2016
Kyšice/Pilsen-Doubravka, 10 September 2016 – Visitors attending the Ejpovice Tunnel Open Day held on Saturday, 10 September 2016, were treated to a unique experience on the construction site of the longest railway tunnel in the Czech Republic. At the entry portal near the West Bohemian town of Kyšice, Metrostav's construction workers showed the guests the tunnel boring machine and other equipment needed to build such a large underground structure. The braver among them who were not given to claustrophobia went on a more than 4 kilometer long walk through the south tunnel, which features a diameter of some 9 meters, as far as the exit portal located in direct proximity to Pilsen's borough of Doubravka.
It took nearly a year and a half for the Viktoria tunnel boring machine (TBM), the younger sibling of the Tonda and Adéla TBMs that bored the A Line of the Prague subway, to overcome the 4,150 meter underground stretch below the hills Homolka and Chlum. Manufactured by Herrenknecht in Schwanau, Germany, Viktoria features a weight of approximately 1,800 tons, a length of 115 meters, and a cutter head with a diameter of nearly 10 meters. The heaviest parts of the machine were transported to the Czech Republic in an environmentally-friendly manner by ship. The tunnel boring technology deployed in Ejpovice is one of the most modern tunnel construction methods. Its principal advantages include speed and safety. Viktoria is a convertible machine, which means that it can function in several modes that allow it to bore through both soft soil and solid rock. The maximum daily progress during the boring of the Ejpovice Tunnel was 32 meters. The machine creates a completely finished tunnel with walls made of concrete rings composed of 7 + 1 segments. Each ring is 2 meters wide and 0.4 meters thick. The rings were made in Dýšina, approximately 2 kilometers from the construction site. More than 2,000 rings were needed for each tube of the tunnel.
The Ejpovice Tunnel is a key structure on the Rokycany railway line, which is a part of the trans-European core transport network and the domestic Third Railway Transit Corridor that leads from Prague to Pilsen and Cheb as far as the border with Germany. The new tunnel will reduce the railway length in this section by more than 6 kilometers. Once the entire line has been modernized, traveling from the Czech capital to Pilsen will take less than an hour. Currently, a train trip between the two cities lasts one hour and 35 minutes.
The project has been completed by a consortium of MTS and SBT – MTÚ Rokycany – Pilsen, where Metrostav acted as the managing partner. The investor is the Railway Infrastructure Administration. The project is co-financed by the Czech government under the State Transport Infrastructure Fund and by the EU under the Cohesion Fund in the framework of the Operational Program Transport for the years 2007-2013.
"The complicated geological conditions below the hills Homolka and Chlum, where we encountered hard spilite rocks and abnormal amounts of inflowing water, will now be tackled by Viktoria for a second time. In a few days, she will start chewing away at the mountain once again and head back toward Pilsen," said Boring Supervisor Štefan Ivor whose experience includes work on sites in Iceland and the Prague subway. "I'm confident that in a few months, we'll be able to invite people from Pilsen and elsewhere to welcome the tunnel boring machine when it emerges at the exit portal in Doubravka," he added.