Tunnel Boring Machine - TBM1800 Open Face - Site

Tunnel Engineering Services (UK) Ltd provides equipment for £125m project.

Tunnel Engineering has recently provided a number of tunnelling machines for the United Utilities £125 million, West East Link Main (WELM) pipeline, that will carry water right across the North West of England from the Prescott Reservoir in Merseyside to the Woodgate Reservoir in Bury, using J. Murphy & Sons as the main contractor.

The project will see the installation of 54.5 km of 1200 mm dia. welded steel pipeline which is designed to transfer 100 million litres of potable water, bi-directional every day, to safeguard water supplies.

Tunnelling and trenchless techniques were necessary as the pipeline passed under roadways, motorways, rivers, railways, contaminated ground and areas of environmental concern.

J. Murphy & Sons and B&W Tunnelling as specialist sub contractor utilised Tunnel Engineering Services (UK) Ltd equipment for tunnel boring methods and pipejacking techniques, installing 1500 mm i.dia. and 1800 mm i.dia. concrete pipes.

Due to varying ground conditions 5 No. TES machines were deployed.
1 – TES 1800 mechanised excavator machine – owned and operated by J. Murphy & Sons.
1 – TES 1500 mechanised excavator machine – owned & operated by J. Murphy & Sons.
1 – TES supplied Akkerman 1800 TBM – owned & operated by B&W Tunnelling.
1 – TES supplied Akkerman 1500 TBM – owned & operated by B&W Tunnelling.
1 – TES 1800 EPB TBM – owned and operated by B&W Tunnelling.

The TES 1800 EPB TBM is a further development of our range of versatile and modular equipment. Designed specifically to deal with a variety of ground conditions in standard mode or EBP mode in soft ground to competent rock.

In the first pipejacked drive of 470 metre, the TBM was fitted with a carbide cutterhead to handle mudstone and weak sandstone but encountered a more competent rock, which with the high torque and cutter power the machine handled, achieving up to 25 metres of production in a 24 hour shift period.

The second pipejacked tunnel was driven entirely in a competent rock and the TBM’s cutterhead was easily interchanged with disc cutters. Drive length was 660 metres, with a production rate of 20 metres achieved in a 24 hour shift period.Tunnel Boring Machine - TBM1800 Open Face - Site