Swiss freight specialist Fracht Group has transported a tunnel boring machine (TBM) from its place of manufacture, in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, to a project site in the UK. The machine will be used on a £100 million (US$ 140 million) National Grid project to excavate a 5 km tunnel under the River Humber to carry a replacement gas pipeline.
The TBM was transported by boat across the North Sea between Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the Port of Immingham, on the north east coast of England. On arrival UK transport specialist Collett and Sons was commissioned to help deliver the TBM.
Collett said the disassembled machine comprised four components: a 30 tonne cutter head; a 70 tonne shield; a 95 tonne machine can; and a 20 tonne tail shield. Following extensive route planning and analysis, Collett successfully transported the TBM 27 miles (44 km) to its destination. Modification of street furniture and the use of a self-propelled module operated via remote control was required to navigate some tight turns.
Over three days four cargoes were unloaded from the vessel and safely transported to the National Grid site, reported Collett.