Ulriken Tunnel –The first TBM Drive for a Railway Tunnel in Norway

The 7.8 km long second tube of the Ulriken Tunnel represents a milestone in Norwegian tunnelling; for the first time a tunnel boring machine (TBM) is used to drive a railway tunnel. With a diameter of 9.3 m, the selected gripper TBM also has the largest diameter ever bored in Norway. After a general description of the project, the paper1 describes selected aspects of the TBM project.

1 Introduction

The Ulriken Tunnel is part of the “Bergensbanen”, the railway line between Oslo and Bergen in Norway (Fig. 1). The existing tunnel, which was opened in 1964, is 7.7 km long and is situated between the stations at Årna and Bergen (Fig. 2). Due to the very high load factor of passenger traffic (120 trains a day) and goods traffic (14 trains a day) on the single-track line, and also in order to improve safety, the Norwegian Transport Ministry decided in 2009 to upgrade the line to two tracks including the construction of a second tube for the Ulriken Tunnel.

The excavation of the 7.8...

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