inside a very exciting and important boring machine

by:Gewinn     2020-06-05
Deep in the countryside of Wales and England, a team of engineers is
Stop to keep the water supply in Birmingham.
It was a race against time, and a mistake could mean that the taps in Britain\'s second city were dry.
So I \'ve been looking deep down to see what\'s going on.
It all has to do with one of my favorite Victorian projects, the Ilan Valley water supply in Birmingham.
Two Welsh valleys were flooded and then 73 miles (117km)
The water pipes to Birmingham were built to transport water to a prosperous city.
Water passes through the valley by gradual descent and siphon system under the action of gravity.
It was a triumph of engineering, a great ambition and a show off of ordinary Victorian times.
Seriously, there are windows in a dam, so when the waterfall spills over the top, you can look out and see the back of the waterfall.
Elan now offers more than five times as much water as it did when it was built.
About 0. 3 billion liters of water per day.
This is a tribute to the Victorian era, and the system they have built to meet the city\'s aspirations can meet this huge demand growth.
It\'s even more impressive when you realize that the pipeline Elan Valley Aqueduct, which connects Wales and Birmingham, is very limited in more than 100 years of maintenance.
Since the water pipes are the only water supply system in Birmingham, the city has to rely on spare reservoirs when you shut it down for maintenance and they contain only five days of water.
Because it takes a day for the drain pipe, and it takes a day to refill the pipe, any repairs are only three days.
These days, the job of Severn Trent Water is to take care of the water pipes and they are making plans to allow them to expand the current three-day repair window on a large scale.
They are building a new pipeline that connects the Birmingham and Severn Rivers.
Once done, they will be able to switch all of Birmingham to this new supply for a longer period of time, then go into the Victorian plumbing and give it some real engineering TLC.
Unfortunately, there are three sections of water pipes that have cracks and will definitely take more than three days to repair, but this also needs to be repaired as soon as possible, of course, as early as projects such as saiwen before the New River connection.
So the solution is a bypass.
Build three brand new pipes, bypass the cracks and problems, and then connect with the original Victorian structure.
This is a £ 300 project with a large boring machine at the heart of Nantmel Supermole.
We have a chance to get into super Moore and see how it works.
In order to get to the machine, we had to take a small train along a kilometer of tunnel that the super mole had already dug.
The main job of the train is not to save my legs, but to introduce some parts to build the tunnel and take a lot of rock and soil away.
Arriving at the back of super Moore, we got off the bus and then the train went on and finally got inside the machine so the empty truck was in place and ready to fill the soil.
There is plenty of room behind to stand up, not too noisy, and the air is fresh and cool.
But at the end of the drilling, it\'s a different story.
You move forward on a very narrow passage, squeezing between the wall of the tunnel and the machine itself.
The space is tight, and the more you go forward, the tighter the space is.
I had to squat down more and the noise from the drill was getting louder and hotter.
Luckily, I was able to squeeze into super Moore\'s canteen just as it started to get really uncomfortable.
Yes, believe it or not, because the crew stayed here for 12 hours at a time and they had a small canteen space.
It\'s just a table with four people\'s space, but with a kettle and a microwave, I had the chance to stretch out my legs.
Soon I got to the front of the boring machine.
Watching is an extraordinary thing.
You can\'t see the actual rotary cutting disc drilled in the rock, but you can see the huge hydraulic pistons that push the machine forward and manipulate it.
Suddenly the piston began to retract, and the robot arm began to move a large part of the tunnel wall in place.
Each one was locked in the other and the workers flocked to make sure they were in place.
Super Moore and the guys on board have been working like this for four months in a row, but I was there on a very special day as nantemer Super Moore will be back
After four months underground, the air was fresh.
Everyone in the small canteen is working on a laptop that shows the progress of the tunnel.
The breakthrough outside was spectacular as a huge rock surface collapsed, revealing the cutting disc in front of the super Moore.
But inside, it\'s a very different story, in fact, I don\'t even know that we\'ll end up crashing, except for the reading on the laptop that changes.
All of a sudden, while Supermole is silent (ish)
It\'s time to leave.
But not the way we arrived, but the way I was taken out of the front of the 150 ton machine and through the brand new holes it created.
I admit I\'m a little nervous getting up on this huge machine.
All of a sudden, as I climbed past, I could see the signs of the day and hear the crowds gathered outside.
It\'s a tricky job to climb down and then go through a fairly narrow gap in front of super Moore (
I suddenly realized this and made it easy for me to chew on the rocks, not to mention a sticky reporter)
In the fresh air.
This marks the end of the second part of the new water pipe, and the work of the third and last part is already in progress.
Hopefully, before the anniversary of its initial opening by 115, let the updated Elan Valley Aqueduct all connect and put into use.
The worst case scenario is that if something goes wrong, it can cause huge problems for more than a million people.
But what is more likely to happen is that all of this work will go smoothly, building on the glory of Victorian heritage, and Birmingham will have a water supply system that will last for 100.
Most people in this city will not notice anything.
This is the engineering miracle we take for granted.
If you can\'t see the pipe itself, it\'s 18 metres after all (59ft)
Underground, a trip to Elan is an opportunity to appreciate the Victorian ambitions and to continue to quench the thirst of engineers in the city.
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