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Biggest bore in Łódź

Opr./edited TC 30 March 2020
Biggest bore in Łódź
The excavation work on the railway tunnel is due to begin in June

POLAND The first few elements of a tunnel boring machine (TBM), including a shield with a diameter of 13m, have been delivered for the use in the tunnel project between the Łódź Fabryczna and Łódź Kaliska/Łódź Żabieniec stations.

The tunnel project is to take around two years. The mechanical ‘mole’ weighs around 1,560 tonnes and it is 115m in length. It will be used to bore a double track tunnel from the starting chamber between ul. Odolanowska and ul. Stolarska, through the Łódź Polesie and Łódź Śródmieście underground stations, to Łódź Fabryczna station. The tunnel will have a length of 3km and a diameter of 12.7m. This is the largest TBM that to be employed in Poland to date – with the previous largest being the one used for the road tunnel under Martwa Wisła in Gdańsk, which had a shield with a diameter of 12.6m.

The parts of the TBM that have been delivered were those that could be transported by lorries. Extra-standard elements will require specialised vehicles and routes – first they will be transported by ships along the river Rhine and the Baltic Sea, before being transported to Łódź at night.

Construction work on the start chamber is scheduled for completion in June, when the excavation of the tunnel will also begin. Four single-track tunnels are to be built with a diameter of 8.5m and a total length of around 4.5 km from the switching chamber at al. Włókniarzy to railway line no. 15 towards Łódź Żabieniec and Łódź Kaliska. The smaller ‘mechanical mole’ weighs around 650 tonnes and has a diameter of 8.76m and it is 95m in length.

The construction of the cross-city tunnel continues the work started with the construction of the Łódź Fabryczna station. The project will provide a faster connection through the city centre and will also contribute to the creation of an improved intercity network for central Poland. Łódź Fabryczna, the final station, will become a transit station as a result of the tunnel’s construction. This will reduce travel time, and both regional and long-distance trains running east-west (through Łódź Widzew, Fabryczna and Kaliska) and the north-south (through Łódź Widzew, Fabryczna, and Żabieniec) will be able to travel through the very centre of Łódź and at a maximum speed of up to 100 km/h in the tunnel.

Two new stations are also to be built as part of the project – Łódź Polesie and Łódź Śródmieście, which will be integrated with public transport to simplify daily commuting.

The PLN 1.76 bln project is being co-financed under the EU’s Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, with a contribution of PLN 1.43 bln.

The design and construction of the tunnel has been prepared by a consortium of Energopol Szczecin and Przedsiębiorstwo Budowy Dróg i Mostów of Mińsk Mazowiecki.

The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

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