Special mole christened, Victoria will start working in the tunnel
Ejpovice, 23 January 2015 – According to an old tradition, a statue of St. Barbara, patron saint of all miners, was laid in the portal of the tunnel newly being built at Ejpovice. With the participation of top representatives of the Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organisation, and the Metrostav and Subterra companies, a christening of a special tunnel boring machine (mole) S-799 over 110 metres long designed to dig the longest two tunnels in the Czech Republic under Homolka and Chlum Hills took place as well. Each of the tunnels will exceed 4 kilometres.
The statue of St. Barbara, which is – according to modern tradition – also the patron saint of every bigger tunnel construction, was consecrated by Mons. František Radkovský, Bishop of Plzeň. Then it was solemnly laid into an alcove in the portal of the future tunnel tubes where it will remain for the whole construction duration.
The tunnel boring machine was also christened by the name of Victoria. This name was chosen not only in consideration of the Plzeň Region football club but especially for its meaning as a symbol of victory that after many years of planning, preparations and surpassing many obstacles, this project came finally into life.
The Victoria mole is a younger brother of Anthony and Adele which dug the continuation of Prague Underground in the V.A section. It was produced by the Herrenknecht company in Schwanau (Germany), with a diameter of almost 10 metres and a weight of 1,800 tonnes approximately. The used technology of tunnel boring machines (TBM) is one of the most modern tunnelling working methods, with speed and safety being its primal advantages. It is used worldwide for approximately 80% of tunnels being newly built..
”We are glad that after many years of postponement, modernisation of this important part of the railway line finally started and that we can participate together with the Subterra company,“ said Mr. Pavel Pilát, Director General of Metrostav. He added: “I believe that this project will also confirm a high level of expertise of our technicians and workers when dealing with modern TBM technology the advantages of which were already tested during the Prague Underground extension.“
The Plzeň – Rokycany railway line is a part of the backbone Trans-European transport network and the Czech Rail Transit Corridor III, leading from Prague through Plzeň and Cheb to the state border with Germany. When the modernisation of the whole line between our capital and Plzeň is finished, the journey by train should last less than one hour. The construction will be carried out for a price of 3.9 billion CZK by the Association MTS+SBT - MTÚ Rokycany - Plzeň, with Metrostav a.s. as leading member and Subterra a.s. as member..Approximately a half of the price will be used for a unique tunnel construction at Ejpovice.
„A matter of crucial importance is namely building the Ejpovice tunnel under Homolka and Chlum Hills. Two single-track tubes will be interconnected by conjunctive corridors. The length of both tunnels from the eastern entrance portal up to the western exit portal equals approximately 4,150 metres,“ says Mr. Pavel Surý, Director General of the Railway Infrastructure Administration about the most important aspects of the whole modernisation. According to his words, the current line’s length will thus be shortened by more than 6 kilometres.
”Modernisation should bring shorter journey times of trains and safer railway operation. At the same time, travelling comfort will improve and maximum speed will reach up to 160 km/h. In perspective we envisage speed up to 200 km/h,“ adds Mr Surý when describing the future of this railway line.
|Construction Designation||Modernisation of the line Rokycany - Plzeň|
|Assemblage of tracks UIC 60||28,132 m|
|Assemblage of tracks S 49||1,338 m|
|Assemblage of switches||8 pcs|
|Length of tunnels||2 x 4 150 m|
|Other technical parameters|
|Railway bridges new + adapted||16 pcs|
|Total length of bridges||199 m|
|Bearing and frame walls||731 m|
|Anti-noise barriers||7,120 m|
|Length of platforms||850 m|
|New catenary||32,100 m|
|New secure switch units||10 pcs|
|New automatic block of the double-track line||16,794 m|