Case Study

Farnworth Tunnel

Case Study

Farnworth Tunnel

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Farnworth Tunnel - Case Study

Major breakthrough as Farnworth Tunnel re-boring comes to an end

Farnworth Tunnel reconstruction
Northwest electrification works hit a major 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.


Nick Turnbull MD of GnatUK Ltd “We were proud to be of assistance to 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 machines 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”


Originally built in the 1800s, Farnworth Tunnel featured two single-line tunnels that were not large enough 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 accomodate 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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