Paris, France – The metro belongs to Paris like the Eiffel Tower. By 2030, the French capital intends to expand its famous subway network by 200 kilometers, mainly underground. “Grand Paris Express” is the name for this gigantic project, which is currently also the largest infrastructure project in Europe and on which six Bauer diaphragm wall cutters are already in operation – more are to be engaged in the course of next year.
Anyone who currently wishes to travel from Clamart in the south of Paris to the eastern suburb of Champigny has first to travel into the center of the capital and then change in order to travel east. This will come to an end in future: The “Grand Paris Express” promises commuters drastically reduced travelling times, as after its inauguration, the fixed center of the star-shaped layout of the main city network will be abolished.
The new line 15, a high-capacity underground rail line, will provide a new ring line around Paris ten kilometers outside the city limits. Linked up with the lines leading out of the City to the suburbs in a star-shaped layout, one will need only 22 minutes to travel from Clamart to Champigny instead of the 64 minutes which the journey through the center previously required. It is here, at the heart of the “Grand Paris Express”, that six Bauer diaphragm wall cutters are currently in operation.
Numerous French customers of Bauer Maschinen trust in the capacity of the highly functional BAUER MC 96 duty-cycle cranes equipped with BAUER BC 40 diaphragm wall cutters. This innovative cutter system is deployed in combination with the turnable HDS-T hose drum system – making it even more attractive for the customer: Due to the modified design of the boom head and the pulley block, the cutter can be turned steplessly within a range of -50 degrees and +95 degrees relative to its normal position. Furthermore, two GB 60 hydraulic grab units are working on site.
Up to 70 meter deep walls are being constructed for the future underground stations, their ventilation system, the emergency exits and also for both the launch and terminal shafts for the tunnel boring machine using the diaphragm walling technique. One of the biggest challenges of this mega project is the formidable geology: hard, occasionally extremely heterogeneous limestone beds, typical for Paris. To be able to cope with these conditions, the French specialist foundation engineering companies have chosen the proven technology from Bauer. The high-capacity diesel engine and the 35 tonne winches of the BAUER MC 96 duty-cycle crane offer maximum productivity. In addition to the unique technical expertise offered, it was also the comprehensive range of service that convinced the customer.
Construction work on the “Grand Paris Express” started in 2013, and by 2030, 68 subway stations and a network of automated subway lines are to be constructed. For the extension of the existing lines 11 and 14, French and Italian specialist foundation engineering companies are already relying on the proven Bauer technology. With the start of construction of the new metro lines 16 and 18 in the coming year, up to 15 Bauer cutters will at times be in operation.