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Major breakthrough as Farnworth Tunnel re-boring comes to an end

Farnworth Tunnel reconstruction
Northwest electrification works have hit a major milestone with Britain’s biggest active tunnel boring machine (TBM) complete with Gnat UK’s adapted Brokk 330, ‘Fillie’, the 9meter diameter TBM broke through Farnworth Tunnel on Sunday,25 October


Nick Turnbull MD of GnatUK Ltd “We were proud to be of assistance to Murphy Tunnelling on such a prestigious and demanding project, we utilised one of our Brokk 330 machines and in order for us to work within the confines of the TBM we had to separate the undercarriage, the machines upper valve block and boom system were adapted to a modified ring gear on the TBM platform, the team worked 24/7 to assist in the removal of the original 1800 tunnel lining and some 7,500m³ of foam concrete”


Farnworth Tunnel features two single-line tunnels built in the 1800s that were not large enough to deliver the electrification project. As a result, the larger of the two tunnels had to re-bored, which will accommodate both tracks and overhead wires


Whilst re-boring the tunnel over 30,000 tonnes of material were removed from the 276 meter long tunnel

Gnat UK's specially adapted Brokk 330 mounted on the Tunnel Boring Machine carriage