Early in March 2016, TUC RAIL started work for a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel underneath the tracks near the station of Bruges. The work is part of a general capacity expansion on line 51/51A (Bruges – Dudzele) to cope with the strong growth in freight and passenger traffic and to improve regularity of the service. In this context, several operations are programmed, including the construction of a third track between Bruges and Dudzele and various new railway bridges.

The new tunnel is built using a pipe roof, a special technique to provide stability so that train traffic above the tunnel is not disrupted during work. All roof and wall pipes were pushed under the tracks over the last couple of weeks. A reinforced concrete construction was also built. Currently, excavation is ongoing in order to put together the prefabricated tunnel components section by section. Every other day, a new section of the tunnel is dug out. Next, the soil beneath the component is stabilised and levelled out. A floor element is then brought in using the SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transporter). As soon as the steel profiles have been fixed on the floor elements, the roof element is positioned and fixed to the steel profiles. Once the floor element, the supporting profiles and the roof element are installed, the space between the roof element and the pipes is filled with grout to support the pipe roof above. In total, 22 elements of 1.5 meter are placed one behind the other.

The opening of the bicycle and pedestrian link is only programmed in the course of 2018, when the tunnel is finished and when the neighbouring infrastructure work ordered by the city of Bruges is completed.

 

 

Once the floor element is in place, heavy steel profiles are installed to support
the roof element.

The elements are transported using the SMTP.

 

The roof element is transported and correctly positioned using the SMTP.