TBM Valérie, the last on Grand Paris Express line 14, crosses the finishing line


Having started its tunnelling activities in May 2020 from the Mandela launch shaft and after crossing through Saint-Denis Pleyel station without a hitch, TBM1, the last tunnel boring machine on line 14, arrived at its Cachin destination shaft on 15 April 2021.

Milestone: TBM Valérie has finished tunneling

Milestone: TBM Valérie has finished tunnelling

Christened on 12 October 2019 as a tribute to Valérie Fratellini, director of studies of the Académie Fratellini in Saint-Denis, the tunnel boring machine Valérie began its tunnelling work on 18 May 2020. Starting from the Mandela shaft, this earth pressure balance TBM drilled 1.7 km of earth in the direction of the future Saint-Denis Pleyel station. This portion corresponds to the extension of line 14 from Mairie de Saint-Ouen to Saint-Denis Pleyel, set for completion in 2024.

Valerie successfully accomplished several delicate stages in her journey, including those of crossing beneath the A1 motorway, the Landy track group (the largest set of tracks in Europe spanning 300 m, including two high speed lines) and a portion passing adjacent to the Paris underground line 13.

“The arrival of a TBM in its dismantling shaft is quite a moving occasion: we can see our ideas and the projects that we have conducted since the earliest design phases finally brought to fruition. On this unique project, it was the first of the nine used on our project to have completed its boring activities. This achievement was made possible thanks to the close collaboration of all the project’s contributors: the civil engineering contractor Eiffage GC, the project owner Société du Grand Paris and the Programme manager, Egis-Tractebel. It is with great pride that we extend our thanks to the men and women who worked so hard on this project,” explains Mariano Ferrari, the Tunnel unit manager for the Line 16 infrastructure EPC management team.

Since 2014, Egis, working in a consortium with Tractebel, has been appointed by Société du Grand Paris, to lead the full-scope engineering, procurement and construction activities on the civil engineering structures of lines 14 North, 16 and 17 South (tunnels, stations and ancillary structures) and the underground infrastructure fixtures, stretching approximately 30 km. Egis’ teams are also involved in all the passenger changeover areas in the six stations that offer connections with the RATP or SNCF networks.

The arrival of this tunnel boring machine is therefore a significant milestone, the first of many more highlights to come on the project.

Pending the arrival of the ninth TBM which will bore the section between Chelles and Noisy-Champs, seven others are still at work and have tunnelled more than seven out of the 29 km that will make up line 16. Their names are Armelle, Bantan, Ines, Dorine, Sarah, Mirelle and Houda. Each of these TBMs has many challenges to meet.

© Société du Grand Paris / Quai3


Egis, at the heart of Europe’s largest urban project

Grand Paris Express will comprise 200 km of automatic line - this is the equivalent of the entire Paris underground as it exists today – and 68 stations. Egis has for many years been a key partner to Société du Grand Paris, in charge of the project.

© Egis


Through all these missions, Egis has asserted its position as an essential contributor to the largest urban transport and development project in Europe.