Author: Sarah Crawford

The Latest Updates: Records in Toronto, the News from Nepal, and More

Much like the face of a TBM, tunneling’s wheels of progress are always turning. Join us as we check in on projects across the globe—including a breakthrough in Japan, record setting progress in Canada, and a new project ramping up in Nepal.

Setting Citywide Records in Toronto

Exciting progress is being made deep below Lake Ontario. The 7.95 m (26.1 ft) Single Shield Robbins TBM boring the 3.5 km (2.2 mi) long Ashbridges Bay Outfall tunnel is seeing record setting progress for the City of Toronto, ON, Canada. The machine, operated by contractor Southland Holdings, has recently completed 30 rings in a single day, at 1.5 m (5 ft) per ring, equating to 45 m (148 ft). With this accomplishment, the machine and crew surpassed a previous best day of 21 rings at a project with similar specifications. The Ashbridges Bay Outfall is anticipated to be the largest wastewater outfall in Canada and will improve the city’s shoreline, beaches, and Lake Ontario’s water quality.

Ashbridges tunnel pic

The record-setting machine at Ashbridges Bay Outfall placed 30 rings in one day.

A Third Set of Records in Esme, Turkey

If two sets of records weren’t enough, the 13.77 m (45.18 ft) diameter Robbins Crossover (XRE) TBM boring Turkey’s Esme-Salihli Railway Tunnel has just set another precedent. In July and August 2021, the speedy machine outdid its previous records in the size class of 13 to 14 m (43 to 46 ft), boring 167.4 m (549.2 ft) in one week and 651.6 m (2,138 ft) in one month. The rates are the fastest ever recorded for any TBM over 13 m (43 ft) in diameter! They even surpass those set  over a decade ago at the Niagara Tunnel Project by a Robbins 14.4 m (47.5 ft) diameter Main Beam TBM. Check out the records here. 

Esme Salihli XRE

The Crossover TBM at the Esme-Salihli Railway Tunnel is now the world’s fastest TBM over 13 m (43 ft) in diameter.

Breakthrough at Tamagawa

In June, JV contractors Obayashi & Kumagai celebrated their final breakthrough at the Tamagawa HPP #2, Lot 2 project in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. During the bore, the crew faced unpredictable soft ground conditions and other challenges. To surmount these issues, an airborne electromagnetic survey was conducted for predicting soft ground conditions ahead of the tunnel surface and tunnel face stability was improved by using forepiling. The project, completed with the use of a Robbins 4.5 m (14.7 ft) Main Beam TBM, will supply 14,600 kw of renewable power to the region.

The Obayashi & Kumagai JV celebrate their final breakthrough at Tamagawa.

Double Shield to Bore Second Nepalese Tunnel

A record-setting 5.09 m (16.7 ft) Robbins Double Shield TBM is currently being rebuilt to tackle its second project for Nepal. The machine, which set multiple records and finished a year early at the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, has been chosen to bore the 13.3 km (8.2 mi) long Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Tunnel. Upon completion, the structure will divert part of the flow of the Sunkoshi River into the Bagmati river to irrigate farmland in the Tarai district. The project has been awarded to contractor China Overseas Engineering Co (COVEC), who will be bringing their expertise and experience from the Bheri Babai tunnel to this new endeavor.

The veteran Robbins Double Shield will now be rebuilt to bore a second tunnel for Nepal.


Event Name: MINExpo International 
Dates: September 28-30, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

The Robbins Company hopes to see you at MINExpo International in Las Vegas, NV, USA from September 28-30. This exciting show only happens once every four years! Stay tuned for more information on what you can expect to see from Robbins at the show.

WTC 2020 Online

Event Name: World Tunnel Congress (WTC)
Dates: September 11-17
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Booth: G17

World Tunnel Congress (WTC) 2020 will be held online from September 11-17 by the IEM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sign up to hear our talks on subjects including karst tunneling in France, mountainous excavation in Nepal, and dealing with high water pressure in Turkey. Stop by our booth, which will be staffed with experts from worldwide locations in the U.S., Germany and India 24 hours a day.  Our paper authors will also be at the booth and ready to answer your questions on any of our informative recorded talks that will be at the show:

TBM Excavation in Himalayan Geology: Over 1,200 Meters per Month at the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project presented by Brad Grothen and Missy Isaman

Overcoming Multiple Caverns: Successful TBM Tunneling in Karst Geology at Galerie des Janots presented by Detlef Jordan

 Tunneling through 48 Fault Zones and High Water Pressures on Turkey’s Gerede Water Transmission Tunnel presented by Doug Harding

NAT 2020 Virtual Conference

Event Name: North American Tunneling Conference
Dates: June 8-12, 2020

You can still learn about the latest industry trends and projects at the UCA of SME’s NAT virtual conference. Listen online to talks each day and peruse the virtual trade show, where you can stop by our Robbins booth to download white papers and recent press releases, or contact our knowledgeable sales staff.


NASTT 2020

Event Name: NASTT No-Dig Show
Dates: April 5-9, 2020
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Venue: Colorado Convention Center

The Robbins Company is looking forward to seeing you in Denver, Colorado for NASTT’s No-Dig 2020. From April 5-9, visit booth 933 during exhibit hours to discover how renting or owning a Robbins Small Boring Unit (SBU) can save you time and money on your next boring project.

ATC 2019

Event Name: Australian Tunnelling Conference (ATC)
Dates: October 14-15, 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre

Join The Robbins Company in sunny Sydney, Australia for the Australian Tunnelling Conference (ATC). The conference will be held from October 14 through 15. During that time you can find us at stand 8—we hope to see you there!

Cutting Edge 2019

Event Name: Cutting Edge Conference
Dates: November 18-20, 2019
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Venue: Hilton Miami Downtown

The Robbins Company is looking forward to participating in this year’s Cutting Edge Conference in Miami, FL. Stay tuned for more information on presentations and where you can find us during the show.

Himalayan Hydro Expo 2019

Event Name: Himalayan Hydro Expo
Dates: January 18-20, 2019
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Venue: Bhrikutimandap

The Robbins Company is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the Himalayan Hydro Expo January 18 through 20 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Stop by our booth to discuss the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, one of Nepal’s 11 National Pride Projects, currently being bored by the country’s first tunnel boring machine.

STUVA 2019

Event Name: STUVA Expo and Conference
Dates: November 26-27, 2019
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Venue: Messe Frankfurt

The Robbins Company will be exhibiting at the 2019 STUVA Expo and Conference being held in Frankfurt, Germany November 26 and 27. Stop by stand D126 to discuss current projects with a Robbins tunneling expert.

ICUEE 2019

Event Name: International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition
Dates: October 1-3, 2019
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Venue: Kentucky Exposition Center 

The Robbins Company is looking forward to seeing you in Kentucky, IL for the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) between October 1 and 3. Visit booth 3065 to discover how renting or owning a Robbins Small Boring Unit (SBU) can save you time and money on your next boring project.