Turkey’s hardest Rock: The Bahce–Nurdag High Speed Railway Tunnel

Southeastern Turkey’s Gaziantep province is characterized by complex fractured rock within the Eastern Anatolian Fault, and it is now the location of an important railway tunnel project. With a population of nearly 1.7 million, the province is overhauling its public transportation with a rail line between the towns of Bahçe and Nurdağı. The Bahce–Nurdag Railway Tunnel consists of two parallel 9.75 km tunnels being excavated by both the New Austrian Tunnelling Method/NATM (850 m) and tunnel boring machine/TBM (8.9 km).

Contractor Intekar Yapi Turizm Elektrik Insaat San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti chose a Robbins Single Shield TBM, 8 m in diameter (Fig. 1), to excavate one section of tunnel. Mixed ground conditions prevail on the project, and range from abrasive, interbedded sandstone and mudstone with quartzite veins to highly weathered shale and dolomitic limestone. The TBM has thus far encountered some of the hardest rock ever tunneled in Turkey, measuring between 136 and 327 MPa UCS.

 

Location and Geological Studies

The 17 km long double-track railway project for owner Turkish State Railways (TCDD) will include the...

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