Tunnelbuilder Promoting the world's tunnelling industry to a huge qualified audience

View the Spanish Tunnelbuilder website View the Italian Tunnelbuilder website

Archive Search


Taiwan, Taiwan Strait - tw/16


Memorandum of understanding signed on 18th November, 2001 with contractors Daewoo, Hyundai, New Japan Steel, Vinci, and Spain's Global Champion to evaluate the feasibility of a US$100 billion project including an intercontinental transshipment centre and an undersea tunnel connecting central Taiwan to the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait. 49/01.


Taiwan, Wu-Chien - tw/15


  Kumagai-Gumi to use 6.2 m-diameter Robbins TBM ex-Hong Kong Quarry Bay congestion relief works. Visit www.robbinstbm.com May 2000.  Breakthrough reported on 7th June, 2002 on a 6.5 km water tunnel, 6.2 m in diameter, for a hydroelectric project. Client is Taiwan Power. Contractors are New Asia and Kumagai Gumi. Excavation with a Robbins TBM. Support with steel rings, mesh and shotcrete. Geology consisted in sandstone and laminated mudstone. Construction started in April 2000. Stripping out of the TBM is underway, setting up of the concrete shuttering. Completion expected in 18 months. Cost of NT$ 12.4 billion. Visit www.taipower.com.tw and www.robbinstbm.com 27/02.


Taiwan, Taipei-Ilan - tw/14


When completed, this 12.9 km twin tube with pilot tunnel which started in late-1991 will qualify cum laude for the Chamber of Horrors. Two 11.74 m-diameter Wirth TBMs and a 4.8 m-diameter Robbins TBM advancing from the east ran into geological problems in brittle sandstone. To date the pilot machine has suffered 10 face collapses which have had to be bypassed by hand mining, and the big machines also ground to a halt in December, 1997 after 653 m and 456 m of boring when 90 m of the westbound traffic tunnel collapsed aided by 750 lit/sec of water at 18 bar. Since then, all work has been by drill/blast, frequently in very wet and hazardous conditions in which an eleventh collapse of the pilot heading occurred. It is planned to restart the TBMs at some stage, possibly before 2000. Watch this space! April 1999.  Tamrock reports contractor RSEA is using its RMH 205 D rail jumbo to advance the Pinglin pilot tunnel. Visit www.tamrock.com for more product information. January 2000.Taiwan on 16th September, 2004 celebrated the final breakthrough, the eighth of its kind since 2000, of what is the world's 5th longest road tunnel. President Chen Shui-bian and Premier Yu Shyi-kun pushed a button to blast through the final portion of the eastbound tunnel. The 12.9 km Hsuehshan or Syueshan (Snow Mountain) tunnel is part of the 31 km Taipei-Ilan highway, or Beiyi freeway, which runs through mountains and river valleys in northeastern Taiwan. The Hsuehshan tunnel consists of two main tunnels (westbound and eastbound) and a pilot tunnel. Breakthroughs took place in July 1991 and October 2003 for the pilot tunnel, July 1993 and 14th March, 2004 for the westbound tunnel, and July 1993 and 16th September, 2004 for the eastbound tunnel.When initial work began on 15th July, 1991, small-sized TBMs were employed. In 1993, when work on the main tunnels began, two larger TBMs went into operation, one on the eastbound route and the other on the westbound route, both starting from the east portal. The machines cost roughly USD70.4 million. However, the tunnel drives were severely delayed by difficult geology, with fractured rock and massive inflows of water. Workers had also to deal with complex fault lines and other hazards that constantly delayed the project. Since work began 13 years ago, its completion date has had to be postponed four times because of countless cave-ins, floodings, mud and rock slides caused by massive inflows of groundwater. Eleven people were killed in the accidents. In order to speed up construction, drill/blast alternatives from additional working faces at the ventilation shaft II for all three tunnels and an additional drive at the interchange station II for the westbound tunnel were adopted. In December 1997, a large rush of water into the westbound lanes as well as a collapse forced to abandon the TBM, which was destroyed. The project had to be halted for one year. A smaller TBM was then used to complete the main portion of the westbound tunnel, which was achieved last year. As a result, the only TBM still being used was the one which bored its way through in the eastbound tube. That TBM completed a 6.8 km mountain section on 12th August, 2004.International experts stopped giving advice on how to tackle the painstaking project a few years ago, but Taiwan dug through the most difficult part - the eastward carriageway - of the tunnel. There were at least six geological faults and abundant groundwater in the section and the tunnel had to bore through very hard sandstone. This posed great challenges to the engineers. Once in just one day, the drilling heads of the jumbo had to be changed 13 times.The Hsuehshan tunnel will cut travelling time between Taipei and northeastern Ilan, passing through Pinglin and Luodong on the way, from more than two hours to just about 30 minutes. The Taipei-Ilan highway is scheduled to be officially opened at the end of next year, after the tunnel has been lined, and lighting, ventilation, power supply and traffic monitoring systems have been installed. Because of its complexity, the tunnel had to be built at all costs, for about USD1.8 billion.The world's longest road tunnel is the 24.5 km Laerdal in Norway, followed by the 18 km Zhongnanshan tunnel in China, presently under construction, the 16.9 km Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland and the 14 km Arlberg tunnel in Austria. Read E-News Weekly 12/2002. Visit www.motc.gov.tw 39/04.


Taiwan, Taipei - tw/13

Mass Transit

  Commissioning of first section of planned five-line, 88 km system. 5.4 km Orange Line opened from Nanshih Ciao to Kuting. Red Line from Kuting to Taipei main station opened to connect with existing northern section of Red Line from main station to Tamsui. The southern section of Red Line will open shortly, following design improvements. April 1999.  Bilfinger & Berger reports completion of 4.5 km Chungho line with four stations six months ahead of schedule. Twin tracks in separate 6.1 m-diameter segmentally-lined tubes constructed using three TBMs. Stations built using cut-and-cover with diaphragm walls up to 55 m-deep and 1.2 m-thick braced by multiple layers of steel girders. Foundation piles 1.5 m-diameter and up to 80 m-deep will allow further overhead development. Visit www.bilfingerberger.de for more details. October 1999.Contract CG590C for the eastern end of Xindian-Songshan MRT Green Line, worth USD220 million, was signed with Da Cin Construction on 29th March, 2006. This 3.02 km-long section, scheduled to be completed at the end of October 2012, includes two underground stations (Nanjing Sanmin and Songshan), a crossover section, a tail-track work shaft and three shield-driven tunnel sections. The western edge of the construction begins from Taipei Stadium MRT station at the intersection of Nanjing East Road and Beining Road and is bounded on the east by the Songshan station tail-track work shaft on the west side of intersection of Bade Road and Yucheng Street.The external and internal diameters of the tunnel are 6.1 m and 5.6 m respectively. The tunnel central depth is comprised between 15.7 m and 28.1 m. Most of the tunnel path is located in soft to medium stiff silty clay layers. Underground water level depth is about 2 m. Three EPB shield TBMs will be used, with lining concrete rings consisting of six segments (K type:1 piece, B type: 2 pieces, A type: 3 pieces). Muck wagons for mucking-out.The tail-track work shaft is a cut-and-cover structure with dimension of 42.7 m x 19.1 m x 22.2 m (length x width x depth). The dimension of the Nanjing Sanmin station is 234 m x 36.7 m x 20.2 m (L x W x D). The dimension of the Nanjing Songshan station is 390 m x 23.6 m x 21.2 m (L x W x D). Tunnel construction period: April 2009-August 2010. The scheduled date for completion of other underground structures is January 2011.The Songshan line will connect Nangang line, Danshui line, Xinzhuang line and Muzha line. It will start from the west of Ximen station on the Nangang line. The total length of this line will be approximately 8.5 km featuring eight underground stations. When the line is completed in 2013, the trip from Songshan station to Ximen station will only take 15 minutes. Visit www.dorts.gov.tw/welcome.htm 27/06.For contract CG590B of the Songshan Line put out to tender by the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS), the tunnel length is 2,040 metres. There are four tunnels between stations G17 and G18 and G18 and G19. In G17-G18, the upper track has a length of 318.9 metres and the down track a length of 318.6 metres. In G18-G19, the upper track is 701.5 metres and the down track 701.4 metres. The external diameter of the tunnel is 6.1 m and the internal diameter is 5.6 m. Contract CG590B is located in the Taipei basin and the stratigraphic unit is Songshan formation of the Quaternary. The Songshan formation is alluvium deposits composed of silty clay and silty sand interbeds. The thickness of topsoil is about 2-3 metres and there are silty clay and silty sand by order under the topsoil. There are gravels until 55 metres deep.The construction method of the underground stations, the pocket track and the common duct is cut and cover while the tunnels will be bored by a shield tunnel boring machine.There are two underground stations (G18 and G19). The G18 is a three-basement underground station (21.87 m wide x 240 m long x 24.7 m deep). The G19 is also a three-basement underground station (25.95 m wide x 219 m long x 25 m deep). Other underground structures include one trumpet section (east side of G17), one pocket track (west side of G18) and one common duct. The trumpet section is 11.5-13 m wide, 90 m long and 20.5 m deep. The pocket track is 9 m wide, 365.3 m long and 24.7 m deep. The length of the common duct is 1,985 m, including 1,808 m in cut-and-cover, 177 m in pipejacking, a 4.7 m wide x 2.4 m high box structure east of Tuahwa North Road and a 2.4 m-wide x 2.4 m-high box structure west of Tuahwa North Road.The detail design consultant are Resources Engineering Services and CTCI Corporation. The project will be built between 10th July, 2006 and April 2013. The estimated amount of contract CG590B is TWD10,082,311,163. Contract CG590A of the Songshan Line is under design. Visit www.dorts.gov.tw/welcome.htm, www.res.com.tw and www.ctci.com.tw 28/06.Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) announced that its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics), has won a contract worth about SGD36 million from Marubeni for Taipei's Songshan and Xinyi mass rapid transit (MRT) lines. ST Electronics will design, supply, install and commission the MRT's communications system and the train-borne communications system for the two lines. The new communications system for the two new lines will be integrated into the existing systems of the Red/Green line network at the existing Operation Control Center (OCC). These state-of-the-art systems will facilitate an efficient, reliable and safe mode of transportation in Taipei city. ST Electronics will begin work on the 6.4 km Xinyi line with its six underground stations and the 8.5 km Songshan line with eight underground stations, in the first quarter of 2008. Completion is expected to be in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Visit www.stee.stengg.com or www.stengg.com and www.marubeni.com 50-51/07.


DORTS, Taipei's Department of Rapid Transit Systems, has awarded an integrated turnkey contract worth €334m for the first phase of the city's Circular Line automated metro. Ansaldo STS has received a €220m order to supply E&M equipment, including driverless technology and the metro signalling system CBTC Radio (Communications-Based Train Control), whilst AnsaldoBreda will supply 17 trains at a cost of €114m. The first stage of the Circular Line is 15.5 km-long with a depot and 13 elevated stations and one underground station, from Dapinglin to Wugu Industrial Park. This line connects with five MRT lines, the Xindian, Zhonghe, Banqiao, and Xinzhuang lines, and the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System. Its entry into service is expected by the end of 2015. The complete Circular Line is planned to be 52 km-long, connecting with 11 MRT lines and passing through 10 administrative districts of Taipei City and Taipei County. The remaining 36 km, of which over 20 km is underground, with 32 stations and two depots are to be built in two later stages. Click here for the map and visit http://english.taipei.gov.tw/dorts/index.jsp, www.ansaldo-sts.com and www.ansaldobreda.it 12/09.


Taiwan, Kaohsiung - tw/12


BOT procurement planned for $3.6 billion first stage funded 90% by central government. Orange Line 14.4 km with 14 stations planned in east-west direction from Sun Yat-sen University through the city and on to Taliao. Red Line 28.3 km with 23 stations planned north-south from Chiatou to Linhai with central one-third in bored tunnels. Construction to start 2001 with commissioning in stages from 2004 to 2007. Technical consultant to the Kaohsiung Department of Rapid Transit Systems is Mott MacDonald. April 1999.   BOT construction of four-line metro to get underway in 2001 with two routes totalling 42.7 km opening between 2004 and 2007. 14.4 km Orange line will run east-west from National Sun Yat-Sen University through city centre to Ta Liao with 14 stations and will include main depot and operations control centre. 28.3 km Red line will run north-south connecting Chiao Tou with Lin Hai industrial park with 23 stations and two depots. Government will fund up to 90% of capital cost. August 1999.  Gamuda Bhd (Malaysia) and New Asia Construction & Development Corp. have jointly secured a four-year civil works contract from the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation for the construction of the Orange Line. The T$7.36 billion contract includes the design and construction of a 4.8 km tunnel, a 4-level underground station and a 2-level underground station. 41/02.Maeda has won a Â¥15 billion (US$122.3 million) order to build a 1.7 km metro section with three stations. This section will be a shield-driven tunnel, 5.6 m in diameter. Work is to begin in November 2002 and take about two and a half years. Visit www.krtco.com.tw and www.kcg.gov.tw 41/02.


Taiwan, Taipei - Kaohsiung - tw/11

High Speed Railway

Taiwan High Speed Rail Consortium commissioned to design, build and operate 340 km line with 35 tunnels from 200 m to 7.2 km long totalling some 50 km. Nine intermediate stations planned at Sungshan, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhwa, Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan. Bid value $11.77 bn for start 1998 and completion mid-2003. Possibly the largest BOT contract in the world. Work will be split into 8 to 14 contracts for which pre-qualification is necessary. Design consultant PB International. Technical consultant Mott MacDonald. April 1998.   Mott MacDonald appointed to monitor and audit design, cnstruction and commissioning of $16 billion, 350 km/h railway system, leading the International Railway Engineering Group in jv with Electrowatt Engineering, DE-Consult and Systra. Project will reduce time between centres to 90 minutes and will now enter service 2005. Passes through west coast corridor where 95 % of the population lives and works. Visit www.mottmac.com for more. December 1999. Continental Engineering Corporation/Bilfinger & Berger has been awarded two adjoining contracts in central section of 345 km-long line. C260 contract is for 36.6 km and includes a 7.3 km-long tunnel at Paghuashan with Changhua station. C270 is for 42.8 km mainly cut-and-cover and on viaduct with Yunlin station. Visit www.bub.de May 2000.Obayashi Corporation reports a start on 53 km section from Panchiao to Hsinchu via Taoyuan which includes a 6.5 km tunnel. June 2000. Obayashi-Futsu underway on contract C210 comprising 6.2 km-long x 14 m-diameter Linkou NATM tunnel in sand/gravel alluvium, plus 400 m cut and cover, two portals, two intermediate shafts, 2.6 km-long viaduct and bridge. Also, 1.9 km-long x 14 m-diameter Hueilung drill/blast NATM tunnel in gas-bearing shales/mudstone with one portal. Visit www.ofjvc210.com.tw 25/01.Obayashi-Futsu reports good progress in poor ground on contract C215 comprising 4.2 km-long x 14 m-diameter Hukou NATM tunnel in sand/gravel alluvium, plus 1.2 km cut and cover, two portals, two intermediate adits, 29.3 km-long viaduct and bridge. Also three Taoyuan 14 m-diameter NATM tunnels totalling 2.4 km with three portals. Visit www.ofjvc210.com.tw 27/01.