In mid-November, the contractor JV between Gama/Nurol accepted the 7.9m diameter Lovat TBM for the Marmaray Bosphorous Tube Crossing project in Istanbul, Turkey.

The project forms part of the historic railway crossing that will link the European and Asian continents. The alignment runs for 1,835m on the European side between Yedikule and Yenikapi in twin tubes meaning there is 3,670m of tunnel to be bored.

The geology along the alignment is comprised of hard silt, hard sandy clay, clay, lenses of limestone, hard gravely sandy clay, firm clay and hard clay.

Currently the machine is being put together with the main sections already assembled and positioned on the launch cradle while work is ongoing to rig up the trailing gantry.

An official launch ceremony is planned for mid-December with local dignitaries including the Mayor of Istanbul.