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Santiago Metro Line 7 – TBM Commences Operation in Renca

Santiago Metro Line 7 Tunnel Excavation Model

An avenue in Quinta Normal municipality hosted the commissioning ceremony of the TBM EPB christened La Matucana, that was held on Monday 06 May 2024 by the ministry of transportation and Santiago metro. Excavating 7 stations located in the districts of Renca, Cerro Navia and part of Quinta Normal for the Santiago metro line 7, this machine is due to drive 6.6km of tunnel. As the first TBM for construction process of the metro lines in Santiago, this TBM was assembled between February and April in the 25 m deep launch shaft at the Renca construction site. Considering that the Santiago geology includes gravel and sandstone, this TBM EPB with 9.8 m diameter and manufactured by CRCHI, will face difficulties and challenges and during the digging process the disc cutter is slated to be replaced every 2 km.

The launching station of excavation phase will be the future terminal station of Santiago metro Line 7 at the end of May, which is located at the intersection of Av. Vicuna Mackenna and Av. Brasil, in the district of Renca, in the north-south direction. The stimated date for completion of this phase will be the end of 2025, covering a route of seven stations. Being located at the intersection of Av. Mapocho and Joaquín Walker Martínez, in Quinta Normal, the future station number will be the extraction location of the TBM, whereas during the progress the TBM is going to install tunnel lining rings, composed of seven precast concrete segments.

The expected daily average advancement of this TBM is 15 to 17, while this will require an average of 70 segments (10 rings) per day. Metro de Santiago plans to produce 26,000 segments, which will be installed by this machine between May 2024 and the end of 2025.

About Line 7

Inclucing 19 stations, the future Line 7 is 26 km long and will pass through eight districts: Renca, Cerro Navia, Quinta Normal, Santiago, Recoleta, Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura and three of which is slated to be incorporated into the Metro network for the first time (Renca, Cerro Navia and Vitacura), benefiting about 1.6 million inhabitants.

The determined deadline for construction of 26 km of tunnel, six ventilation shafts and the access tunnels needed for the 7 underground stations will be 2026. While 2025 is the scheduled date for starting the civil works stage for the construction of the stations, by mid 2028 the installation of equipment and track, first test train runs and, finally, the commissioning of Line 7 will be finished. The journey time between the Line 7 terminal stations is estimated to be around 37 minutes, a reduction of 49% compared to the current time.

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