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How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels (+video)

How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels

How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels

What is a Subway?

Subway is underground tunnels built below the ground surface. It serves as a means of transportation. While the size varies, some are wide enough for double lane road meant for movement of Cars. Some are meant for only Railway Trains in such case it will have only railway track in it.

How Subways were built in the past

Before now, building of subway is not a project that can be commenced and expect complete hope of success. Only few countries attempted such project in the past and the distance covered were not long due to the challenges in making such subway such as:

Challenges of building subways in the past

Possible landslide

Lack of ventilations

Lack of proper equipment for drilling of the subway

High mortality rate in the project

Making of subways tunnel can become a projects running into more than a year in terms of duration.

And many other challenges.

To bypass the above challenges, technological advancement made available by modern engineers has made special machines and heavy-duty equipment exclusively for the making of subways.  

With the new technology, subways are now made to cover longer distance. Subways are now wide enough to accommodate Cars , trains, and even double lanes. Subways are now so efficient that some countries now have underground subway train stations.  Subways now have good surface finishing and uniform surface excavation as well as reinforcements against collapse.

How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels
How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels: Pictures of Subways

Features of the New Machine Use in making of Subway Tunnels

The use of giant hydraulic motors and supporting hydraulic systems enabled the engineers to build a massive long machine covering about 312feet in length and 40 feet in diameter (wide enough to make a double lane road tunnel).

The drilling/excavation section of the machine is located at its front which makes the first entrance into any location that the subway is needed.

The drilling section is made up of highly coarse hard material drilling bits arranged in diagonal axis in the form of ‘X’.

High power hydraulic motors drive the drilling bits rotating the entire drilling section at the front of the machine in clockwise direction forcing massive amount of soil to give way by forcing them into the expelling unit in the interior of the machine through the drilling bits. This become possible and easier due to the circulating pumped water in the line that mixes with excavated soil.

The soil which is usually mixed with massive volume of flowing water is pumped out to the designated location on the ground surface.

The machine travels beneath the ground executing the same task until the entire length measured out for the subway tunnel is covered.

This reduced the risk in making subway tunnels. It equally reduced the number of days it takes to make subway tunnels.

The use of the machine equally dropped down the number of workers needed to make a subway tunnel.

The video below shows the working demonstration of the machine and how it operates to make subway tunnels.

Video of How Engineers are Building Modern Subway Tunnels

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