Tunnel engineer

Aboard the Grand Paris Express…

When he was a child, Alberto Puliti wasn’t a fan of trains, but of metros. And more specifically, the Paris metro. “My parents once took me to Paris. When I rode on line 14, I said to myself: this is what I want to do when I’m older: work on a metro project!” recounts the young Italian.

With his Tunnel engineering degree under his belt, he joined the Egis group in 2013. Today Alberto is a member of the teams working on the new metro line 16 of Grand Paris Express which will offer new mobility opportunities to the poorly-serviced eastern suburbs. For the time being, Alberto is working on technical calculations and configurations, assessing the various methods for building the future line whilst complying with cost and timeframe obligations.

“On a project of this type, it quickly becomes imperative to use digital tools, which also allow wider information sharing between all of the project contributors, who have come together in the same workspace in Montreuil,” explains the young engineer. “From a geological point of view, line 16 doesn’t display the same issues as large tunnels running under the Alps,” acknowledges Alberto, “but working in a dense urban environment also throws up a host of different challenges.

“Digging happens at shallow depths beneath the ground, so you have to take the necessary precautions to avoid causing damage to buildings, infrastructure and surface-level networks.

“While safety is a major issue for train circulation, we haven’t forgotten passengers’ travelling conditions. One of the key areas of attention is the design of the route alignment which is particularly crucial since trains will be able to reach top speeds of 120 km/h.

“A metro project is not a matter for improvisation: it’s something that takes several years of design and teamwork,” concludes Alberto, for whom taking part in the construction of the Paris of the future is “a source of personal pride”.