Following passing the Factory Acceptance Test, the second TBM that is going to be used for the construction of the high-capacity railway between Messina and Catania in Sicily by Webuild has been unveiled.
The scheduled date for arrival of this machine, which has a 9.36m diameter and weighs almost 900 tones, on site is January.
In order to producing the pre-cast concrete segments, Webuild has already set up a fully-automated factory at Belpasso near Catania and it is due to produce the segments for the tunnels for the two lots awarded to Webuild between Catania and Messina. Considering that the fully-automated factory manufactures a segment every seven minutes, it will speed up production compared with the usual 10 for a factory using labour.
Being commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the infrastructure arm of state rail operator Gruppo FS Italiane, seven lots along the Palermo-Catania-Messina railway is the working sites of Webuild.
Additionally, responsibility of Lot4A that covers design and build of the line between Caltanissetta Xirbi and Nuova Enna, was granted to Webuild and Ghella consortium in May 2023, and it includes construction of 20km of tunnels while 90% to be constructed by TBMs and 3km of viaducts.
To doubling the Fiumetorto-Lercara Junction, in June the consortium won Lot 1+2 comprising construction of 30km of new railway, whereas the works include 20km of parallel tunnels, more than 2km of road and rail viaducts, over 7km of roads, and three stations. Four TBMs will be used on the contract.
Webuild is also responsible for Lot 1 Fiumefreddo-Taormina/Letojanni (15.4km) and Lot 2 Taormina-Giampilieri (28.4km) between Catania and Messina; and Lot 3 Lercara-Caltanissetta Xirbi (47km); Lot 4B Nuova Enna-Dittaino (15km) and Bicocca-Catenanuova (38km) between Palermo and Catania.
As a strategic project for Sicily and Italy, and part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the new Palermo-Catania-Messina axis is slated to decrease travel times between Palermo and Catania by 60 minutes to two hours.