Site visit & Master Classes

Site visit - 29 February 2012Nam Cheong Launch Shaft site, Contract 820 & Contract 802 of the Express Rail Link

Led by:

Bill_Clowes Bill Clowes
Project Manager – XRL Tunnels
MTR Corporation

The launch shaft for the XRL TBM is 160 m. long, 40 m. deep and encompasses a future rail cross over and ventilation building, which is Hong Kong’s largest. The delegates will be able to observe the commencement of one 9 m. diameter drive (with the TBM scheduled to launch on 20th January 2012) and the erection of the second 9 m. diameter slurry TBM.

The 26-km long Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Express Rail Link, or XRL) runs from West Kowloon in Hong Kong to the boundary of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The Express Rail Link will connect with the 16,000-km National High-speed Railway Network and will enhance Hong Kong's role as the southern gateway to the Mainland. Construction of the Express Rail Link commenced in January 2010, with completion targeted for 2015.

The launch shaft for the TBM is 160 m. long, 40 m. deep and encompasses a future rail cross over and ventilation building, which is Hong Kong’s largest. The delegates will be able to observe the commencement of one 9 m. diameter drive (with the TBM scheduled to launch on 20th January 2012) and the erection of the second 9 m. diameter slurry TBM.


Current view of Nam Cheong launch site, XRL tunnels, MTR Corporation

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding the launch procedure of two 9 m. diameter slurry TBMs
  • Seeing the construction of Hong Kong's largest launch shaft
  • Visit segment handling systems, slurry treatment systems and AV mortar plant
  • Observe TBM under erection
  • TBM in operation

Additionally, there will be a visit to the Nam Cheong station site where MTR is running a contract to remove nearly 400 H piles from the tunnel alignment. The delegates will learn how a new technique of bespoke Japanese 'Rotator & Wedge' method is being used to extract and remove the H piles when standard techniques such as vibro extraction and jacking failed.

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08.30 – 10.30 A practical guide to cost effective geotechnical investigation


Geotechnical investigation forms the basis of an efficient tunnel design. While controlling costs in this critical activity is vital, irrelevant practices and erroneous data should be avoided. Starting with how to prepare a preliminary investigation plan, the workshop details on what methods and instrumentation need to be used, on how to maximise data generation in the process and on how to minimise errors and site visits.

Discussion points:

  • Preparing a preliminary investigation plan and conceptual plan for site exploration
  • Methods of site exploration and costs involved
  • Current updates on instrumentation
  • Using existing geological, seismic and geophysical data

alok Eddie Wong
Technical Director

Eddie Wong is a Technical Director of AECOM. He has more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical and tunnelling engineering in Asia and Middle East, which includes cut and cover, hard rock, soft ground and immersed tube tunnels. He specialises in numerical modelling, ground movement prediction and soil structure interaction analysis. He was an advisor on both the Chongming and Bund Tunnels in Shanghai and has been involved in metro, railway, highway and water tunnel projects in Hong Kong, China and India. Current projects include the Kolkata and Chennai metro projects in India and railway tunneling projects in Hong Kong.

11.00 – 13.00 3D modelling in excavation/tunnel design: current trends and best practices


Reliable 3D modelling procedures have yielded easier construction design for large underground excavations/tunnel infrastructure. This workshop will discuss what the current trends in using 3D modelling are and list out best practices in using 3D modelling.

Discussion points:

  • How to simulate the conventional procedures of tunnel excavation (under various elastic conditions)
  • Creating and studying tunnel cross-section models and soil-nailing of the face excavation
  • Analysing the influence of the soil properties and excavation procedures
  • Evaluating the soil-structure interaction and how to calculate the stress distribution in both the lining and the reinforcing structural elements.

Workshop led by:

alok Dr Siew Wei Lee
Associate Director

S W Lee obtained his PhD in geotechnical engineering from the Cambridge University in 2001. Since then he has been working for GCG (Asia) Ltd in Hong Kong. He has carried out advanced numerical modelling of soil-structure interaction problems in various countries, including a number of new underground metro lines in Hong Kong recently. He is a chartered civil engineer and an advanced registered analyst with NAFEMS.

01 March 2012 - 13.30 – 18.00 Master class B: Construction & Risk Management

13.30 – 15.30 Managing risks in tunnel contracting and construction


As tunnelling is one of the most risky construction processes, a systematic risk management regime needs to be in place, till the underground get commissioned. This workshop will list out what are the common risks, how they are classified and how to address a variety of contractual/construction risks.

Discussion points:

  • How to initiate a systematic risk management plan for an underground construction project
  • Classifying hazards and chances
  • Risk evaluation and strategies to successfully avoids risks
  • Principles of risk sharing by the contractual partners

Workshop led by:

alok Martin C Knights
Global Director – Tunnelling
Immediate Past President

Martin has over 40 years of broad experience in managing all aspect of civil engineering and infrastructure business and projects, with particular technical emphasis on urban tunnelling and underground projects.

He is currently Halcrows Global Tunnel and Geotechnical Practice Leader with tunnelling operations in UK,Brazil, USA, Hong Kong,Middle East Australia,India, and Argentina

Martin has recently undertaken peer reviews for Engineering and Tunnelling aspects of the Thames Water London Tideway Tunnels Project a £4bn storm water/CSO tunnel and shafts/; Expert panel member for tunnels/shafts/stations for London Crossrail project for Government and City Transport Sponsor - £18bn underground twin tunnel rail scheme under central London; leading a technical/market/procurement/commercial review for London Underground for proposed 10 year Station Congestion Relief Capital Programme.
He was the Start Up Director for the 5km twin road tunnels (€800m) in Central Dublin mobilising the client and project managers team and forming a joint collaborative Agreement with the Anglo-Japanese JV, Dublin City Council and his own design and CM team.
He also chaired the on-site Collaborative Agreement for the CERN tunnels and caverns in Switzerland(1996—2003) For a period of 15 years he project managed the development and construction of over 75km of High Voltage cable tunnels under London including five river crossings having promoted the tunnelling concept to London Electricity and National Grid following the success of the Thames Water Ring main work of the late 1980’s

Martin was the President of the International Tunnelling Association in 2007-2010 and is also a Member of the British Tunnelling Society Committee. As such, he brings international perspective particularly with respect to technical best practices, contracts & procurement, and public outreach programmes.

16.00 – 18.00 The road ahead in ventilation and fire engineering design for long tunnels


Transport tunnel infrastructure demand safe conveyance for passengers as tunnels are now constructed deeper and longer. Good ventilation, ease of evacuation and fire safety decide the utility of the infrastructure. This workshop will outline the modern principles, techniques and construction-friendly equipment for ventilation and fire engineering design in long transportation tunnels

Discussion points:

  • Techniques in fire simulation modelling
  • Traffic load analysis for long tunnels and its significance in designing ventilation
  • Modern equipments and materials aiding fire resistance
  • Construction/installation trends in ventilation equipments for long transport tunnels

Workshop led by:

alok Dr Mingchun Luo
Head – Fire Engineering

Dr Mingchun Luo is a Director of Consulting and group leader with Arup. He has many year of experience in the research of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling and application of CFD model into building fire research. His research experiences covered with considerable areas of fire safety issues including long tunnel and underground structures. He has extensive publications in international journals and conferences and was an invited speaker in various conferences including the Annual Meeting of SFPE Japan Chapter and NFPA Beijing Conference.

Dr Luo has involved in the development of Australian Fire Engineering Code from 1993 to 1997. He is a member of the advisory committee for the development of performance-based code in Shanghai and Beijing. Currently, he is leading a consultancy team to develop the performance-based code for Hong Kong.

Dr Luo is currently working on the Express Rail Link (XRL) project which is a 26km underground tunnel – one of the longest tunnels in the region. Other tunnel project examples like the Inje Road Tunnel and Baehooryung Tunnel in Korea, Route 9 Nam Wan Tunnel in Hong Kong, Risk Assessment for Chongming River Cross in Shanghai etc. He has also involved in many major developments in East Asia. For Beijing Olympic projects, Dr Luo was the chief fire engineer for Water Cube, Bird’s Nest, CCTV, Beijing Airport T3, etc. In addition, he has involved in the development of fire safety strategy and fire safety design for airport terminals, super high-rise buildings, entertainment and casino facilities, public transport interchange centres, MTR, railway stations and depots.

Valerie Chan
Associate – Fire Engineering

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For the first time Martin C Knights, Global Director – Tunnelling, HALCROW
Immediate Past President, ITA

Will be presenting at Tunnel Design & Construction Asia click here for his presentation.

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