Underground railways and metro lines are fast, environmentally friendly, efficient and an ideal solution for transporting passengers, particularly in densely populated areas. However, crossing under urban areas presents a particular challenge for tunnel construction.
Underground metro lines are complex facilities that must be built and operated without interfering with urban activity. In urban areas, it is especially important that the area crossed by tunnel construction does not display settlement, and that underground railway tunnels do not interfere with building foundations and are compatible with all underground utilities.
We have gathered our knowledge by designing underground railways and metro lines all around the world and deepened it by closely co-operating with research groups and the industry. This enables us to select the most suitable technology for the particular local requirements.
In urban areas, it is especially important that the area crossed by tunnel construction does not sink (or sinks only minimally) and vibration and noise emissions are kept low. This is difficult because construction usually takes place in water saturated soft ground. A further complication is that the metro tunnels may not touch building foundations and must be compatible with all underground pipelines. Access from the surface must also be built for metros – from very large ones for stations to small shafts and connections for emergency exits. In overbuilt areas, there is often not enough space for this.
Whoever builds an underground railway system must already consider during planning the future maintenance of the tunnels. Metros, unlike main line railways, have only small breaks in operation during the night and there are hardly any possibilities for diverting trains, thus maintenance options are limited.
These challenges can only be mastered by a partner familiar with the complexity of building metros.
We have gathered our knowledge by building metros around the world and deepened it by closely co-operating with researchers and industry. This means we are able to select the right technology for the particular local requirements. So, our experts work with the most appropriate tunnelling methods, select the correct lining and deliver you the optimum alignment. In addition, we develop safety concepts and emergency planning, and design the ventilation for metro tunnels and stations.
Once the metro is in operation, we also have the knowledge and technical means – despite shorter breaks in operation – to carry out inspections and maintenance work. To conserve value, we offer periodic state assessments, strategic value-conservation planning with budgeting and programming, as well as overall planning and supervision of maintenance, refurbishments and conversions.