Freyssinet’s structure sliding technique used on Grand Paris Express project

Freyssinet’s Autofoncage® structure sliding technique was used to position a 3,600 tonne reinforced concrete tunnel structure in Champigny-sur-Marne, in the first major operation for the construction of the Grand Paris Express in Val-de-Marne.

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The Grand Paris Express will see new rapid transit lines built in the île-de-France region of France, as part of the Grand Paris project to develop Greater Paris into a sustainable metropolitan area. The project involves construction of four new automatic metro lines around Paris and expansion of two existing lines of the Paris Metro, with the aim of providing direct connectivity between suburban districts. Construction of the new lines began in June 2015 and is being carried out in phases up to 2030.

Using the Autofoncage® method, the concrete tunnel, measuring 40m L x 10m H x 10m W was constructed next to the line before being slid 47 metres into its final position under the Grande Couronne railway. The tunnel will create access to the future metro station Champigny Center, where line 15 South will run.

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John Kennils, Business Development Manager of Freyssinet’s rail division joined colleagues from Freyssinet France on site to witness the stages and processes of the works, with a view to utilising the system further in the UK rail environment.

The Autofoncage® technique was previously used by Freyssinet UK on the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement works in December 2015. As part of the works in North East Lincolnshire, a concrete box was constructed next to the rail line, then ‘floated’ on a bed of bentonite and pulled into place by horizontal cables and 1000 tonne jacks.

For more information about Freyssinet’s rail capabilities, email or call (01952) 201901.