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The Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300 mega tunnel boring machine was built to excavate a road tunnel in Madrid in 2005.  Yep, that’s a 21′ diameter central cutting wheel surrounded by an additional outer cutting wheel which yields a maximum excavation diameter of around 45’ at a time

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It’s not just big, it’s the biggest ever built.

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It reminds me of the sand worms in the Frank Herbert novel Dune.  This thing is incredible; not only does it churn up the stone and bedrock it’s blowing through, it also pulverizes everything to pebbles and ships it to the rear via a huge conveyer for removal and other use.

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The best part: this mega tool only puts a few operators into harms way instead of the hundreds of people required for blasting.  Bravo, Herrenknecht.

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The EPB Shield S-300 [Herrenknecht]

Daniel Rutter writes: “After the break, Mike Rowe replaces all of the worn-out carbide teeth.”


7 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-300

  1. Stuart says:

    Actually the cutting size is 49.86 feet! The formerly largest in the world (47.24′) is currently eating a new tunnel in Niagara Falls to feed more water to the Hydro plant on the Canadian Side. http://www.opg.com/power/hydro/new_projects/ntp/ntp_gal.asp


  2. Paul says:

    Any word on when Harbor Freight will be offering a cheap knockoff?

  3. Paul, I just laughed so hard I hit my head on the swing-arm lamp…

    This is right up there with most of the big tools: “I’d snag one if it were cheap, but where would I put it?”

  4. After the break, Mike Rowe replaces all of the worn-out carbide teeth.

  5. nrChris says:

    Nate, storage is no big deal with a tool like this. Find a nice mountain and make your own garage.

    They are currently using boring machines in Rhode Island to complete a massive central sewer overflow line. Usually as part of my job I get access to some really neat construction projects–but there are no VIP trips to the boring machine. It makes sense but I would sure love to get down there and check it out.

    This is from last week’s Providence Journal if anyone cares….(article and photo gallery)


  6. Sean O'Hara says:

    LOL, Daniel, I nearly blew Dr. Pepper out my nose. Thats awesome!

  7. Brent says:

    I Love to see these operate

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