Chinese Machinery to Build Palermo – Catania Rail Tunnel

Chinese equipment utilizes the most advanced technology in terms of environmental sustainability

Everything is ready for the shipment from China to Sicily of brand new mechanical “moles” that will dig different sections of the tunnel for the Palermo – Catania high capacity railroad line. On March 28, China successfully completed tests of five TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines), giant milling excavators with a diameter of more than 9 meters, which will be used in the construction of the Palermo – Catania line. The presentation of the Chinese TBMs (pictured below) was broadcast live on China’s state-run TV channel CCTV.

The full-section mechanical milling machines, which utilize the most advanced technology in terms of environmental sustainability, were designed and manufactured by Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer China Railway Construction Heavy Industry (CRCHI). The Chinese company is a world leader in the production of equipment for underground structures and railway transportation. It exports its mega machinery to 30 countries, including, in addition to Italy, Turkey, Russia, and South Korea.

After successfully passing all the tests, the new TBMs, each weighing about a thousand tons, will be dismantled and sent on a special transport to Sicily, to the construction sites of the Webuild group, where a team of Italian and Chinese technicians will assemble all its components.

Among the most obvious benefits of the new Palermo – Catania high-speed rail link are infrastructure development and sustainable mobility in southern Italy, reduction in train travel time by about an hour between Palermo and Catania, and noticeable decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

La cerimonia di consegna di una delle frese meccaniche "made in China"