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First TBM starts work on Brenner Base Tunnel main drive

23 Apr 19 The first of two TBMs has started work on the main line of the Brenner Base Tunnel linking Austria and Italy.

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) – which is called Flavia – set out last week from the Mules construction site, heading towards the Brenner Pass. Flavia’s twin, Virginia, is being assembled in the neighbouring east main tunnel and will start work at the end of May.

Brenner Base Tunnel CEO Raffaele Zurlo has joined by the heads of the Brenner Tunnel Construction (BTC) consortium to watch as Flavia’s cutter head began to turn.

The TBM is 200m long and weighs 2,750t. She will drive the west main tunnel using experience gained by the excavation of the exploratory tunnel, which was carried out by another machine, named Serena. Serena began work in May of 2018 and has already driven over 4km of exploratory tunnel.

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