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The four Follo Line Tunnel Boring Machines

20 Jun 2016

The Follo Line Project is the largest Norwegian TBM-project in history and the 20 km new tunnel will be the longest Scandinavian railway tunnel. Four Tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will excavate the 18,5 km main part of the tunnel.

All four machines are especially designed to handle the hard Norwegian rock granitic gneiss. Two TBMs will drill north towards Oslo and two will drill south toward Ski, starting from the construction site at Åsland. In September 2016 the first TBM starts boring towards Oslo, and the three others will start the following months.

All four TBMs are produced at the German TBM-manufacturer Herrenknecht. From the factory they were transported to the construction site, where they are assembled inside large assembly halls.

The cutterhead-colour is different from each machine. The first TBM came in Oslo-blue colour, while the three others have official Norwegian flag colours – red – white - blue.

Facts about the Follo Line Project TBMs:

  • Four similar TBMs will excavate 18.5 km of the 20 km tunnel between Oslo and Ski
  • These machines makes a complete and watertight tunnel in one process
  • Length of TBM: 150 m
  • Weight: 2400 tons
  • Diameter tunnel / TBM: 8.75 / 9.96 m
  • No of Cutters: 71
  • Average excavation speed: 12-15 m/day
  • Installed Power: 6200 kW

TBM names

A naming committee together with the National Rail Administration selected names for the TBMs from courageous and enterprising women, with relations to the area. 

S980 tbm follobanenQueen Eufemia: Machine No. 1 will bore from Åsland to Oslo
Eufemia was queen of Norway from 1299, married to King Håkon Magnusson. Eufemia married Håkon in St Mary's Church in Oslo. The ruins of St Mary's can be seen today in the Medieval Park. The new Follo Line will run through a covered superstructure (culvert) below part of the park.

TBM follo front (2000x1333)Queen Ellisiv: Machine No. 2 will bore from Åsland to Oslo
Ellisiv was queen from 1046, married to King Harald Hardrada. She was a Russian princess. Snorri Sturluson called her Ellisiv Jarisleivsdatter. Harald forced his nephew, King Magnus, to divide the kingdom with him, and when Magnus died shortly after Harald become sole king over Norway and Denmark.

S982 Follo Line TBM 2 smallAnna from Kloppa: Machine No. 3 will bore from Åsland to Ski
Anna was a merchant and a well-known figure in the township of Kolbotn in the 1950s. Anna would walk every day from her crofter farm in Kloppa to sell eggs and milk from a characteristic fisherman's sled. The road from Kloppa to Kolbotn crosses the Follo Line corridor.

983 frontMagda Flåtestad: Machine No. 4 will bore from Åsland to Ski
Magda provided ferry transport to and from Flåtestad Farm and over the Gjersjøen Lake (in the Municipality of Oppegård), which was an important church road east and west of Svartskog Church in Oppegård. A theatrical play about the life of Magda Flåtestad was first performed in the autumn of 2015 on the occasion of the Municipality of Oppegård's 100-year anniversary.