Herrenknecht TBM ‘Ellen’ bores through on Line 15 (South)

Thanks to the breakthrough on April 6 of TBM Ellen at Arcueil-Cachan station, the tunnelling has been completed on Line 15 (South) of the Grand Paris Express subway expansion

Having begun excavating on 8th December 2020 from the shaft at Robespierre, the Herrenknecht TBM bored through at Arcueil-Cachan station placed in the southern suburbs of the Paris. During its 700m drive, the tunnel boring machine has encountered a geology comprising soft and heterogeneous ground. Earlier, in summer 2020, the machine had finished a 4km drive from Bagneux to Clamart.

The TBM is currently being disassembled using a mobile crane, with the pieces to be sent by road convoy back to the Herrenknecht factory in Schwanau, Germany.

Presently, the Grands Paris Express plan which is the largest infrastructure project in Europe, includes the extension of two current lines (11 and 14) as well as four new fully-automated subway lines (15, 16, 17 and 18) totaling 200km of new track and 68 stations. The multi-phased project is going to better link the surrounding municipalities and suburbs with the Paris metro network.

Phased openings of Line 15 are expected to happen by 2030. Once totally completed, nearly two million passengers per day are anticipated to use the four new lines.

Totally, 19 TBMs are being provided to the Grand Paris Express project by Herrenknecht – 16 EPB shields and three multi-mode (variable density) machines with diameters varying between 7.7m and 9.8m.

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