June 2022
Volume 74    Issue 6

Long-distance tunneling; Challenges and trends of large projects in Europ

Mining Engineering , 2022, Vol. 74, No. 6, pp. 101-101
Bappler, Karin


Mechanized tunnel construction has enormous potential to drive innovative developments and technologies in underground mining in the future. One factor is the steadily increasing need for mobility around the world, and the trend toward urbanization that makes it necessary to move more infrastructure underground and to connect the surrounding regions with central points and cities, and to create corridors of connectivity. On the basis of highly specialized solutions, know-how and value-creating interaction between humankind and technology, technological progress in the planning, construction and implementation of modern infrastructure in varied and difficult terrain is constantly striving for new records. New tunneling length records are set with mega infrastructures such as the railway projects Gotthard Base Tunnel, Brenner Base Tunnel and the High Speed Two railway systems currently under construction in Europe. These are corridors of connectivity and transnational supply chains that reshape our social and physical worlds toward a borderless world. Numerous ambitious, long-distance tunnel drives are in the planning and implementation phases. This article focuses on challenges, current trends and innovations in mechanized tunneling, with exemplary projects that represent a multitude of specific geological and hydrogeological challenges at the highest level, and with regard to safety of operation.

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