Fast track tunnel construction
25 April 2008
More than 27000 m3 of granite needs to be excavated for the construction of 555 m of new rail tunnel near the city of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden as part of the development of the Bothnia freight railway. The task of shifting the rock on the US$ 5.4 million project falls to the Norwegian contractor Mika's Volvo L180E wheeled loader and its two Volvo A25D articulated dump trucks.
The tunnel's 10 m high and 6.8 m wide profile is just large enough for the ADTs to fit alongside the wheeled loader, which is fitted with a side dumping bucket to avoid the need to turn.
When the tunnels are completed at the end of 2006, they will form just a short length of the 25 km of tunnels along the length of the 190 km Bothnia Line. The new railway, which is due to be finished in 2008, will provide a 250 km/h link between north and south Sweden, which is capable of carrying loads up to +60% heavier than existing links.