Evening Meetings 2016

The BTS holds monthly evening meetings from September to June, generally on the third Thursday of the month. Additional meetings are arranged by the BTS Young Members. If a meeting report is available this is noted in the first line of the description.


Sochi Tunnel, Russia

The meeting will describe the Sochi Tunnel, built for the 2014 Winter Olympics on the Black Sea coast of Russia, describing the design approach, laboratory and field testing to validate the design parameters and the construction works which took place from February 2011 to January 2014.


Carla Zenti, Bekaert Macceferri Underground Solutions; Giovanna Cassani, Technical Director of Rockspoil SPA

BTSYM: Farnworth Tunnels Reconstruction.

Electrification of the heavily trafficked Manchester to Preston railway by Network Rail required the rehabilitation of the Victorian era Farnworth Tunnels to accommodate 21st century high speed trains. Network Rail, J. Murphy & Sons and OTB Engineering collaborated closely to complete these works in close proximity to heritage infrastructure whilst maintaining a rail service on the route. This significant challenge was mastered by a combination of detailed investigation, robust design, extensive monitoring, ground treatment, secant piling, sprayed concrete, steel arches and segmental lining techniques. Investigation of the 'Down' Tunnel found deformation and cracking of the lining and this was reconstructed during 11 weekend possessions. The 'Up' Tunnel was filled with low strength concrete and a 9m diameter open face shield was used to construct an 8m diameter segmental lined tunnel whilst traffic was maintained in the 'Down' Tunnel.


Eoin Murphy, OTB Engineering Ltd; Billy Leen, J Murphy & Sons Ltd

Joint BTS / MinSouth Event: The History of the Davy Lamp

To mark the 200th anniversary of the invention of the Davy Lamp, this presentation will look at the history of the development of the lamp. In the early 1800s, a race existed between several eminent scientists to solve the problem of colliery explosions. We will look at how it works and how the problems were overcome by Humphrey Davy, and how to this day his ideas still protect our workers in mines and tunnels.


Brian Robinson, Mines Rescue Officer

Mission Control: monitoring temporary works in tunnels.

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] The presentation will describe the application of 'cloud based data' to real time review of temporary works performance against design within tunnels, illustrated by a number of example projects in the UK and Hong Kong.


Angus Maxwell (Maxwell Geosystems Ltd); Anmol Bedi (BAM Nuttall)

BTSYM: SCL in the City - Upgrading Capacity at Bank Station

With work underway on the London Underground upgrade project, which will allow for extra capacity and reduce journey times and congestion, this presentation will address a) the detailed design of the proposed tunnels and shafts and b) the impact the construction is expected to have on the existing station structures.


Bethan Haig & Andreas Feiersinger, Dr Sauer and Partners Ltd

Crossrail's 2016 Technical Papers Competition Winners' Presentations

This is an open event at which shortlisted finalists from the Crossrail Technical Papers Competition will present their papers. The presentations will cover a variety of engineering and geotechnical topics relating to recent Crossrail design and construction works. The Crossrail Technical Papers Competition runs annually and receives papers from a number of disciplines within a broad engineering and technical theme. It is open to all organisations currently or previously involved in the project, including designers, contractors, joint ventures and those working for Crossrail Limited.


Harding Prize Presentations

The annual Harding Prize competition is named in honour of Sir Harold Harding, the founder Chairman of the BTS and is open to young engineers aged 33 or under at the end of 2015. Entrants must submit an original paper relating to any aspect of tunnelling which they consider of interest to the tunnelling industry, with the winning paper selected by the BTS Committee. Further details can be found on this website under 'The BTS' tab, 'Awards' section. The winner of the Harding Prize receives two tickets to the BTS Annual Dinner, a copy of Sir Harold’s book 'Tunnelling History and My Own Involvement', and a cheque for £500. Runners up receive a cheque for £100 and other entrants submitting papers of an acceptable standard receive a cheque for £50


BTSYM: Kathmandu Soil: Obstacles and Opportunities

The presentation will begin with a brief description of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake in the Kathmandu Valley and examine how variations in ground conditions influenced its impact. The presentation will also lay out the possibilities for developing a metro rail network in the Kathmandu Valley as well as the potential for a network of underground rail tunnels beneath the city. The presentation will also look at how the geology of the area will impact on plans for future infrastructure.


Dr Binod L Amatya, CH2M

BTS AGM followed by Thomson MRT Line, Singapore - Tunnelling in urban areas and newly reclaimed land

Singapore's 30km all-underground Thomson LIne (TSL) involves the operation of approximately 30 TBMs to complete the twin running tunnels and the construction of 22 underground stations including 6 interchange stations. Needless to say, this has involved a number of challenges for tunnelling in complex urban areas and partially reclaimed land. The presentation will concentrate on TSL-A and TSL-D with project features such as varying geotechnical conditions, SFRC and RC segment design, design of bored tunnels in consolidating marine clay, under- and overcrossing of existing railway lines, tunnelling beneath operational stations, 3-way Interchange Stations. Unfortunately, due to issues with sound quality, a video recording of this presentation is not available.


Andreas Raedle and Dr Leo Suhaendi, Arup, Singapore

Developments in the jacked-concept for urban shallow tunnels

The use of jacked installation for tunnels and structures has been greatly extended in capability and application in the last 50 years. This presentation will review the past developments and focus on the recent innovations and applications to large non-circular underground structures including underpasses below rail and road, subways, shallow tunnels and green tunnels. This will be put in the context of future projects, such as HS2 for putting rail underground, Hammersmith Flyunder and many others. Innovative concepts for creating large underground structures and caverns in soft soil that could find extensive use will also be presented. Unfortunately, due to issues with sound quality, a video recording of this presentation is not available.


Andrew Robinson, Director; Christopher Howe, Director; James Thompson, Consultant; all from Jacked Structures Ltd.

The Emscher Interceptor

Klaus Rieker of Wayss & Freytag will give a presentation on the construction of the Emscher wastewater canal over no less than 35km from Dortmund to Bottrop. The contract was awarded to Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau in January 2012. The River Emscher in the German Ruhr district has been used for disposing of wasterwater. In the early 1990s it was decided to replace the existing open wastewater system with a sewer system and to restore the River Emscher to its natural state. The project is divided up into a number of individual contracts with pipejacking interlinking conduit sections with lengths in excess of 1100m.


Dr Klaus Rieker, Tunnelling Division, Wayss & Freitag Ingenieurbau AG

BTSYM: SCL Fallouts

Construction on the Crossrail project has taken approximately 4 years, and has involved the spraying of over 200,000m3 of concrete. At the start of the project there was a lack of available records from previous projects concerning concrete falls, which hindered risk assessments and the ability to make meaningful comparisons around spraying or material performance. This presentation starts the process to remedy this situation by providing information on falls experienced on this project, the management of safety close to spraying areas and makes recommendations to assist future projects.


Mike King, Technical and Compliance Director, Tunnels, CH2M; Adrian St John, Chief Engineer, Kier Infrastructure (formerly BFK Joint Venture)

Over-tunnel construction at Amsterdam Station

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] With great pressures on the use of urban overground space the need for construction directly around and over existing running tunnels has been increasing for decades. This presentation reveals the quay wall reconstruction at Amsterdam Central Station. The foundations of this quay wall intersect the north-south metro-line tunnel over a length of 600 ft. Rather than spanning the tunnel with heavy concrete slabs it 'overhangs' the north-south subway line from two sides. Some piles pass at only 10cm from the tunnel lining. The technical challenges of design and installation at such close proximity to the tunnels are discussed including the implications for taller structures.


Robin Vervoorn M.Sc. CEng, Head of Underground Infrastructure and Geotechnics, Witteveen+Bos UK Ltd

BTSYM: AGM and presentation on Depressurisation of Alluvial Deposits

Depressurisation is one of the available options for the management and groundwater control of alluvial deposits in tunnelling or shaft excavation. It forms a part of temporary works related to pore pressure control and moisture content reduction by consolidation. Meeting the challenge of depressurisation involves careful consideration of the level of complexity involved. An effective approach requires close co-operation between client, consultant and specialist dewatering sub-contractor. This talk focuses on the speaker's experience with a problematic site in the River Clyde alluvial deposits and makes recommendations to assist with future projects.


Piotr Pawlikowski, Senior Hydrogeologist and Groundwater Engineer, Donaldson Associates Ltd

The Crossrail Experience

In May 2015, major tunnelling was completed on Europe's largest construction project with the arrival of TBM Victoria at Farringdon station under the heart of London. A total of 42km of tunnels were constructed using six earth pressure balance TBMs, two mixed-shield slurry TBMs, 250,000 pre-cast segments and over 3.5km of sprayed concrete lining to form ten platform tunnel sections at five stations. Work commenced in 2009 with design and TBM specifications, preparation of execution and procurement strategies, securing of land rights, installation of over 35,000 prisms to monitor ground and structure movement, and development of a strategy for disposing of seven million tonnes of excavated material, which included creation of a new bird sanctuary for the Royal Society for Protection of Birds in the Thames estuary. This paper will chronicle Crossrail's experience and provide important lessons learned for future projects that involve major tunnelling in a complex urban environment.


Bill Tucker, Crossrail; Mike Black, Crossrail

Bond Street Station Upgrade Project

[A meeting report has been uploaded to the Knowledge section] This presentation will describe the challenges and solutions from the design stage till the successful execution of tunnelling work for London Underground Limited's Bond Street Station Upgrade project. Told from the perspective of the SCL designer and the Contractor working in a One Team environment, through maximising innovation and utilising the latest technology they pushed the SCL design boundaries and developed a safe system of work by minimizing the impact on infrastructure whilst optimising the excavation times to create necessary additional underground space.


Richard Watts, Project Manager, London Underground; Steve Nuttall, Project Director, CoLOR; Andreas Spiegl, Principal Tunnel Engineer, Dr Sauer & Partners and Senior SCL Engineer on site