- 15. 01. 2015
As of this morning, as much as one thousand meters of the south section of the more than four-kilometer long railway tunnel at Ejpovice has been bored by Metrostav's team, headed by Štefan Ivor. After overcoming initial difficulties that involved unfavorable geological conditions in the rock underlying Homolka Hill, the boring machine Victoria was able to pick up the pace to such a degree as to allow her to repeatedly achieve record-high progress of 30 meters a day.
According to Metrostav's Division 5 Director Roman Fuksa, boring the first kilometer was an extremely laborious task. In the first 300 meters, five exploratory wells had to be bored to map the average geological characteristics, such as rigidity, water presence, and other parameters. The measurements so obtained allowed the approximate overall geological makeup to be determined, as well as estimations to be made as to how it would respond to boring. "Our specialists and foreign experts had to make an extra effort to deal with unstable caprock conditions, constant water leakage, and various other difficulties. In the end, however, we were able to cope with the problems, and the boring is now advancing at the originally planned tempo."
"Already when a statue of Saint Barbara, the patroness of miners, was christened in Ejpovice before construction work began, experts predicted that the local geological conditions would make the project a difficult and complicated challenge. I'm happy to report, however, that the initial problems have been overcome. I hope that no further troubles will now be encountered past the one-kilometer mark, and that work will proceed in accordance with the original plans and expectations," commented RIA's CEO Pavel Surý with respect to the first underground milestone being reached.
Featuring two tubes interconnected by cross-passages, the Ejpovice tunnel is the main component of a project undertaken to modernize the Rokycany – Pilsen railway line. Executed by a consortium of Metrostav and Subterra, the venture will reduce travel time and improve the safety of railway operations. Once the entire line is modernized, a journey from the Czech capital of Prague to Pilsen will take less than an hour. Passenger comfort will be enhanced, and the maximum travel speed will increase to as much as 160 kilometers per hour.
The tunnel is being bored by a boring machine named Victoria, which features a cutter head with a diameter of nearly 10 meters, a length of 114 meters, and a weight of 1,800 tons. Boring operations and machinery maintenance are secured by 100 workers and 24 technicians, who work in two 12-hour shifts. The tunnel-boring machine is manned by some 12 specialists, while an additional 15 operate supporting equipment. Once the south tube, which begins near Potoční Street in Pilsen – Doubravka, is completed, Victoria will return to her original starting point to begin the boring of the second, north tube. The completion of the entire tunnel is scheduled for 2017.
The project is co-financed from the Cohesion Fund under the Transport Operational Program. Subsidies amount to 76.44% of eligible project costs, which translates into a maximum of CZK 3,419,440,199. Domestic funding is provided by the National Transport Infrastructure Fund.