VOLK Electric Tow Tractors used in tunnel construction
On December 9, 2017 the wait was over: The first regular-service ICE train to speed along the newly built Berlin-Munich route directly through the Thuringian Forest arrived in the Bavarian capital right on schedule at 11.02 a.m. It had left Berlin less than four and a half hours earlier. Before that, it had taken some 20 years and ten billion euros to construct the new high-speed line between the two major cities. VOLK Electric Tow Tractors were also involved in the project.
The route cuts through several mountain ranges, which is why not only countless bridges but also several tunnels are required to achieve top speeds of up to 300 km/h. One of the longest tunnels on the line, at 6.970 meters, is the Finnetunnel. It passes under the Finne mountain range between Herrengosserstedt (Thuringia) and Bad Bibra (Saxony-Anhalt).
The West entrance of the Finnetunnel at the start of construction work – Today, passengers on the Berlin-Munich rail line are unlikely to even think about the effort that went into building the tunnel
Each of the two tunnel tubes consists of a total 3.400 segment rings – the tunnel drilling machines automatically assembled the seven reinforced-concrete elements of the tubbing ring
A VOLK EFZ 20 K Electric Tow Tractor towing a tubbing segment shell – the steel molds are precision tools that were specially manufactured for construction of the Finnetunnel
It took some 3.400 tubbing segment rings to build the Finnetunnel. Obviously, considering the vast dimensions, transporting these prefabricated concrete parts over long distances would have been massively expensive. That is why they were produced in a so-called field factory directly on the construction site. For this purpose, a production building with a production area of some 5.600 square meters was built near the West entrance. Day and night, special concrete was poured into steel molds to keep pace with the two tunnel drilling machines.
A VOLK EFZ 20 K Electric Tow Tractor with a concrete tub – several hundred-thousand tons of concrete were transported over the four-year construction period
Two VOLK EFZ 20 K Electric Tow Tractors were used to transport the fresh concrete tubs, each weighing around twelve tons, from the concrete mixer to one of the 56 shell molds. Over the four-year construction period, each of the two tractors moved some 240.000 tons of concrete. The top priority here was absolute reliability.
The field factory erected for producing the tubbing segments covered a production area of 5.600 square meters – it produced more than 100 segments per day in two-shift operation
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