Robotic factory to make 160 ashlar blocks a day for Turin-Lyon tunnel

The plant will produce 160 ten-tonne precast blocks a day to line the tunnel (Courtesy of Webuild)
Webuild is setting up France’s first robotic ashlar-block factory to line the inside of Lot 2 of the Turin-Lyon high-speed rail tunnel.

The company said the plant’s intensive automation will mean it can produce 160 ten-tonne precast blocks a day, nearly twice the rate achieved by standard ashlar factories.

Production, curing, handling, and storage tasks will all be automated at the 50,000-sq-m plant in La Chapelle.

In June, it will start making the 100,000 blocks needed for the tunnel, which will run 270km under the Alps between Italy and France.

Webuild set up a similar ashlar factory in Sicily in November last year.

Webuild is building Lot 2 with France’s Vinci. It’s around 12% finished, Webuild said.

It involves building 46km of twin tunnel between Saint-Martin-la-Porte and Praz in the Maurienne Valley in France.

Webuild is also engaged in developing Lot 5A of the Turin-Lyon link, which is expected to open in 2032.

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