China’s first TBM exported to Italy – a CREC 699 10.03m diameter machine designed and manufactured by China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd. (CREG) – has successfully broken through on the first drive of Italy’s twin-bore Lonato Tunnel on September 15, 2022 after boring 4.8km.
The Lonato Tunnel lies along the Milan-Verona high-speed railway link on the Brescia- Verona section located in northern Italy and is being constructed by the Cepav Due JV. Comprising two TBM drives, the Lonato Tunnel is 9.6km long in total with an alignment that passes mostly through sandy gravel and clayey silt strata.
In view of this complex geology, CREG supplied the 10.03m diameter EPBM with a customized double screw conveyor design. With two muck discharge modes comprising a single screw conveyor mode and a double screw conveyor mode, the adaptability of the TBM in high water pressures and alluvium with an extremely high content of very large boulders is improved, ensuring construction safety and tunnelling efficiency.
Since its launch in March 2021, the TBM has achieved a good performance rates with a maximum daily advance of 28m and a maximum monthly advance of 504m despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the complex geological conditions.
The Milan-Verona high-speed railway link is a major strategic infrastructure project for Italy as well as being part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Mediterranean high-speed rail corridor connecting the western and eastern regions of Europe through Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary.