Gilles Piquereau, Rémi Moreau and Maurice Debray were the engineers in charge of excavating two tunnels for the TGV Atlantique high-speed rail link between Palaiseau and Villebon-sur-Yvette. The first tunnel, excavated using the conventional method with two TBMs operating concurrently from each end of the shaft and requiring a lot of manual adjustments, had proved complex, notably because the TBMs didn’t have the capabilities to do the job. A more-powerful system had to be found, able to operate continuously and excavate the second tunnel on time.
“A more-powerful system had to be found,
able to operate continuously and excavate the second tunnel on time.”
Our three engineers hit on the idea of employing a single TBM that would be controlled automatically to optimize its capabilities. A new steering system was tested, relying on real-time analysis of data from the sensors on the machine’s thrust cylinders.
This system meant the TBM could be controlled more precisely and could operate autonomously round the clock, six days a week. The innovation proved successful and in 1988 spawned a new department called Conception d’Automate de Pilotage (CAP), which has since specialized in this type of excavation.
1 Hydroshield Bade & Theelen TBM, Paris (France)
4 EPB J.Howden-Wirth TBMs, Halsskov (Denmark)
1 Hydroshield Herrenknecht TBM, Paris (France)
1 Hydroshield Herrenknecht TBM, Förslöv (Sweden)
1 EPB / Openshield Herrenknecht TBM, Saverne (France)
1 Hydroshield Herrenknecht, Hong Kong
5 EPB Herrenknecht TBM, Doha (Qatar)
Rennes metro, 8,000 m / span 9.44
1 EPB Herrenknecht TBM, Rennes (France)
12 EPB Herrenknecht for lines 14, 15 and 16 of the Paris metro
More than 85 systems running worldwide (see our Projects)
More than 350 KM of tunnel excavated since 1987