HS2 has released the first picture of one the two TBMs that will spend around three years digging the longest and deepest HS2 tunnels – from just inside the M25 to South Heath in Buckinghamshire.

Tunnel boring machine (c) HS2

The TBMs are 170m in length and weigh roughly 2000 tonnes. The size of the TBM cutter head, which is still to be added will be 10.26 metres in diameter.

Behind the cutter head, the long tail of the TBM will be installing the concrete tunnel lining rings, made up of segments weighing an average 8.5 tonnes each. 112,000 of these concrete segments will be required to complete both tunnels.

The machines are being built by Herrenknecht in Germany, the same company that made the Crossrail tunnel boring machines. After completion the first two machines will be disassembled before beginning their journey to Britain. Once they have arrived on site, each TBM will be reassembled, ready for launch and begin their life underground.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Melvyn says:

    It seems the one thing that we are good at is building tunnels which was one of the most successful parts of Crossrail project.

    Anyone would think tunnels have never been dug before given comments made by Anti HS2 brigade and after bats I suppose they will claim these machines are killing worms ….. Which would be ironic given that the concept of TBM was thought of after watching how worms made holes through wooden navy ships !

    With claims of pollution of water table beneath The Chilterns ignoring the tunnels that already exist !

    A sure sign that HS2 is progressing as was the delivery of steelwork for Bridges

  2. David Miller says:


  3. Andrew Conway says:

    Would like to work on this one, currently on job “TBM” in Silicone Valley CA.

  4. Brandon says:

    I think this is a really important technology to have mastered. For instance, someday it may be a better idea to bore tunnels for highways, etc., under the lunar surface from city -> city as opposed to a surface tunnel to minimize exposure to harsher solar radiations.

  5. Steve Cahill says:

    The wife is my boring machine.. I’ve been married to long

Home >> News >> Transport News