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Liebherr tunnel excavator

by Kyle Molyneux  |  Wed 30 Oct 2019

Liebherr tunnel excavator

A Liebherr R 950 Tunnel crawler excavator is being used on one of the Grand Paris Express construction sites. In this huge automated railway project, the R 950 is responsible for milling, creating arches and some handling operations deep underground.

Boasting an operating weight of 45 metric tonnes, the Liebherr R 950 has so far clocked up more than 500 operating hours since construction began. It is teamed with an Erkat ER 2000-2 milling cutter from Witeck and an arch gripper from ONE-TP.

As the on-site bridge crane could only handle a maximum of 30 tonnes, the Liebherr R 950 had to be dismantled before being lowered down a purpose-built shaft. Making this excavator ideal for the job is its tunnel equipment, which ensures optimum alignment of the milling machine, as well as its small swivelling radius. Powered by a 258hp Liebherr diesel engine, the R 950 is suitable for use in tunnels five to eight metres tall.

The Grand Paris Express is currently the largest urban development project in Europe, comprising 200km of automated railway lines and 68 stations. The completion date is set for 2030, although sections of the automated transit network will begin opening from 2020/21.

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