Construction Technology & Machines

TUNNEL EXCAVATION METHODS

TUNNEL EXCAVATION METHODS

Drill and blast tunnelling Most of Gautrain’s rail track tunnels are excavated by means of drilling and blasting. Several holes are drilled into the rock. These are then filled with explosives. The explosives are detonated. The explosion causes the rock to collapse and this lengthens the distance of the tunnel. The circular shape of the tunnel is achieved by carefully calculating the position...

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TRACK CONSTRUCTION

TRACK CONSTRUCTION

Track Laying Sequence Bottom ballast Bottom Ballast is delivered to site from the stockpile location by road using a tipper truck. The tipper truck reverses onto a ballast box, which is adjusted to give a constant depth of ballast, the ballast is then tipped into the ballast box and the tipper truck drags the ballast box along the formation to deposit the ballast. Installing concrete sleepers The...

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LAST VIADUCT SEGMENT POURED AT PRECAST YARD

LAST VIADUCT SEGMENT POURED AT PRECAST YARD

Following a productive supply of 72 viaduct segments per week, the temporary precast yard celebrated the pouring of the last viaduct segment on 28 May 2009. Although this event marked a major accomplishment, guests also felt a tinge of sadness as the massive precast yard will soon be dismantled. Gautrain’s precast yard is currently the largest precast facility in Africa. Situated near the...

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NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR GLOBETROTTING TBM PILOT

NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR GLOBETROTTING TBM PILOT

Being one of a small group of specialists who pilot Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM’s), Sakkie van Zyl is usually at work in a foreign country. But when Gautrain imported its own machine to start boring a tunnel in Rosebank, Sakkie immediately packed his bags and returned home. Born in the Free State, Sakkie previously piloted TBM’s in Singapore and Hong Kong for light rail and utility...

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GIANT TUNNEL BORER'S FINAL RESTING PLACE

GIANT TUNNEL BORER'S FINAL RESTING PLACE

Dismantling of Gautrain’s giant Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is completed. The 11m long shield is the only part that will remain inside the tunnel where the head of the TBM came to rest. This will be covered with shotcrete to match the internal diameter of the precast concrete tunnel lining. While some parts of the TBM were scrapped, other parts were salvaged for reconditioning and use on...

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SPOIL MANAGEMENT PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

SPOIL MANAGEMENT PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

A rock crushing plant in Linbro Park will enable the recycling of excavated material so that no quarries or borrow pits need to be dug to obtain adequate construction material for the construction of the Gautrain alignment. This measure limits environmental scarring while ensuring responsible management of excavated material, called spoil. The spoil will be collected from tunnels, cut-and-cover...

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