This article describes the challenges from geology and unanticipated methane gas deposit in the tunneling at Abdalajis for the expansion of the Spanish high speed rail network between Cordoba and Malaga. The entire route requires almost 20 km of tunnels, and the 7 km of the Abdalajis twin tube is the most complex. Geology ranges from soft to abrasive hard rock, and there are considerable water inflows. The tunneling is being done by two identical 10-meter diameter Universal Double-Shield TBMs. This new TBM concept is described. The expansion will allow travel from Madrid to each provincial capital in less than four hours and a trip to Barcelona in under six and a half. The Abdalajis tunnel cross the Sierra del Valle de Abdalajis mountains. The Double-Shield TBM was chosen for higher production rates and better steerability through the weak ground formations. Excavation works on the eastern tube commenced in November 2003. Problems began where methane intrusions began to increase, forcing stoppage to ventilate the tunnel, slowing the production rate. One such stoppage led to a rock collapse. The coincidence of highly destabilized rock and methane gas has proved a challenge, but progress continues. The ventilation system was adapted to speed evacuation of excess gas levels. Tunneling will continue using the new methods.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Polygon Media Limited

    Tubs Hill House, London Road
    Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1BY,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • Weber, W
    • Daoud, H
    • Fernandez, E
  • Publication Date: 2005-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 36-38
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2005 12:00AM