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Railway Tunnel Reconstruction

Major breakthrough!! The Farnworth Tunnel re-boring!





Steady Away!

Northwest Electrification works hit a significant milestone with Britain’s biggest active tunnel boring machine (TBM) complete with Gnat UK’s adapted Brokk 330, ‘Fillie’, the 9meter diameter Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) broke through Farnworth Tunnel.


We were proud to assist Murphy Tunnelling on such a prestigious and demanding project. Utilising one of our Brokk 330 machines, we had to separate the undercarriage in order for us to work within the confines of the TBM. The machine's upper valve block and boom system were adapted to a modified ring gear on the TBM platform.

Time was an essential factor throughout this Project, so the GNAT UK Teams worked 24/7 to assist in the removal of the original 1800 tunnel lining and some 7,500m³ of foam concrete.”

Nick Turnbull MD of GnatUK Ltd

Initially built in the 1800s, the Farnworth Tunnel featured two single-line tunnels that needed to be larger to facilitate the proposed electrification project. To enable the upgrade to Electrification, the larger of the two tunnels had to re-bored in order to accommodate both tracks and the required overhead wires

During the re-boring of the tunnel, over 30,000 tonnes of material were removed from the 276-meter-long tunnel

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