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June 2016

São Paulo holes out

With some 9.8 million inhabitants (or some 16 million in the wider Metropolitan area), São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. The Metro serving the City is one of the world’s youngest with a very modern construction. However, the lines that currently exist do not serve all of the populous areas of the City as yet.

Currently offering a network with Lines 1 to 5 covering some 68 km, the Metro structure is complemented by a monorail line (Line 15) and a 260 km suburban network designated Lines 7 to 12.

To increase coverage of the City, an extension of Line 5 is currently being undertaking between the stations of Adolfo Pinheiro on Line 5 and Chácara Klabin on existing Line 2.

2013-09-16 15.43.47

Tunnelling works for the Line 5 extension started on 11 September 2013 with the final holing for the tunnelling works taking place on 13 April 2016. Built partly as a single-tube double-track tunnel and partly as a twin-tube single-track tunnel, the tunnel construction was completed using in part a Herrenknecht EPB Shield that previously proved itself in the construction of Line 4. The machine was refurbished for Line 5 by the local Herrenknecht subsidiary in Brazil in cooperation with the specialists from Schwanau. The diameter of the machine, designated S-733, was enlarged by about a meter to 10.54 m so it could excavate the single tube, double-track section over a length of 5,250 m.

Two other EPB Shields, designated S-789 and S-790 were used for the twin-tube single-track tunnel sections, each over a length of 4,320 m. These machines were a smaller diameter at 6,860 mm. During the course of tunnelling the various TBMs holed through some 10 station locations very successfully.

Directional control of all three TBMs that ensured its successful breakthroughs was undertaken using equipment from tunnel navigation specialist VMT, due in no small part to very successful cooperation on previous tunnelling works for the Metro. VMT provided TUnIS Navigation TBMLaser systems with TUnIS Navigation Office support software as well as support services for all the equipment on site.

Ultimately the tunnelling works on the extension were completed quickly with few if any problems and has provided the City with an excellent perfectly supported tunnel into which the track system can now be installed.