Since September 1, 2009, the consortium led by the Portuguese Mota-Engil group has been working on the refurbishment and consolidation of the tunnels on the Minho line, for the Portuguese national rail network REFER E.P.E.
The tunnels date back to 1870-1880, and over the years had only received minor maintenance. Now it was time for a radical project of improvement, consolidation and stabilisation, both
internally and externally. For the 4 tunnels on the Minho line
between the stations of Nine and Caminha, the jobs are all performed at the same time, because they can only be done when the line is closed.
The first task was the consolidation of the gables and vaults, cast with fiber reinforced concrete, metal/plastic reinforcements, together with transverse and longitudinal drainage systems, implementation of safety recesses and stabilization of the entrances, and finally lowering the railway tracks by about 50 cm.
The Indeco breakers, an HP 1800 and an HP 350, are being used in two areas: for lowering the tracks, which involves excavation and demolition along a 2 km stretch of railway; and for excavating 24 safety recesses and creating a work site, a job which will be carried out mechanically.