Barcelona Metro Line 9

Location:Barcelona, Spain
Project Type:
Customer:UTE Linia 9 (FCC – FERROVIAL –
Products:1x TBM

Machine Type: Dual-Mode-Machine: EPB, Hardrock
Diameter: 11,89m
Excavation Length: 11600m
Geology: granite, schist

Barcelona, Spain’s second city with a population of nearly 3 million inhabitants, has a particularly dense public transportation system: 5 urban metro lines, 3 regional metro lines, 5 tramway lines, 3 funicular railway lines, 1 telepheric and a large network of suburban trains.

Line 9 will count amongst the longest metro lines in Europe with 46 stations spread over 42 kilometres (of which 34 km of tunnels). Being entirely automated, it will considerably increase the transport possibilities inside the city, by making connections towards high speed rail lines, the existing metro lines and the airport.

Structure of the Project

The large diversity of the soils, mainly rock formations or pedogenesis, implies the use of different boring machines. Consequently, the boring was the subject of two quite separate Calls for Tender.

For the part composed mainly of hard rock, MÜHLHÄUSER (former NFM) has developed one of the largest mixed mode tunnelling machines in the world with a diameter of 11.95 m. The shield machine for hard rocks can be adapted for use in the closed mode in case of unstable soil or a fault zone.

Started in 2003 from the Can Zam station, the machine has excavated 4,300 m as far as the Can Peixauet station. It was then dismantled and transported on to the second section of the line where it will run the 7,300 m which separates the Sagrera station from the Mandri station. Due to the extreme hardness of the rock on the first section excavated (150 Mpa), the client decided to adapt the cutting tools on the second segment, with a similar geology. A new cutting head was designed by MÜHLHÄUSER (former NFM) in order to meet the multiple variations in the terrain (hard rock/ soft ground).