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January 27, 2021

Case story Veidekke

Photo: Nils Mausdal

Veidekke Entreprenør working on a giant project

Civil engineering company Veidekke builds for Bane NOR a new double-track railway tunnel from Drammen to Kobbervikdalen in Norway with Epiroc underground machines.
When the double track from Drammen to Kobbervikdalen opens to traffic in 2025, it will be possible to run four trains an hour each way between Tønsberg and Oslo. With associated transverse and evacuation tunnels, Veidekke will build a total of 10.8 kilometers of tunnel and carry out approximately 165 000 square meters of contact casting on rock to protect the tunnel from water and freezing temperatures. The work started in autumn 2019, and the projected construction time is five years. Epiroc is a turnkey supplier of underground machines, drill steel and service contracts (Cop Care) for the tunnel.

Scooptram ST18 – the first in Norway

Epiroc currently has 8 underground machines on the site – Boomer XE3C, Boomer E2C and Scooptram ST18 – in operation from morning to evening. The Scooptram ST18 loader is the first of its kind delivered in Norway.


Operations Manager Ole Kristian Egge, with 15 years of experience at Veidekke, has high expectations for the Scooptram ST18 to be used to extract masses from 3 escape tunnels spread over a total of 1400 meters.The large scoop on the ST18 makes the loading process more efficient. Ole Kristian Egge knows from experience that Epiroc underground rigs are a tried and tested formula to a successful operation.

From left: Ole Kristian Egge, Eivind Stendal and Hans Olav Solli.

In the tunnel there are intermediate storage in several places. What is special about this site is that the area they are working on now takes place 12 meters below the Strømsås traffic tunnel. The extracted mass is almost 1 000 000 compact cubic meters used to fill in the river Drammenselva. Holmen docks in Drammen are to be expanded with the blast material from Bane NOR project Drammen to Kobbervikdalen. At the dock in Drammen, is where 70% of all automobiles imported to Norway are off-loaded.


There are two transverse sections, Danserud and Austad, for access to the main tunnel. The masses of material are transported from the transverse sections and from the main tunnel Gulliksrud. (See map illustration).

TC42B drill bit from Epiroc is used successfully

The rock is relatively easy to drill and consists mainly of reddish Drammen granite. For long-hole drilling, a TC42B drill bit with a new thread has been used successfully. "Epiroc's follow-up on drill steel works very well thanks to a high level of competence and good cooperation," Egge says.

"In large projects like this, we want to follow up the contractor in the best possible way. Veidekke and Epiroc have had a good collaboration over many years, through similar projects, that works as a great foundation. "

Rolf Blomberg ,Epiroc’s Underground Business Manager North Europe

Veidekke foreman Hans Olav Solli mentions the site's 27 rock drills (Cop 3038) and the Cop Care contract for the newest machines: "This is a good system for observing operating times." Three workshops in the tunnel see to the maintenance. An automated system reports data from the rigs to Veidekke. Epiroc and Veidekke hold regular meetings to ensure the smoothest possible operations.


Rolf Blomberg, Epiroc’s Underground Business Manager North Europe says, "It is just as impressive every time to see how such a large facility can start up in a short amount of time, and how production and logistics works. In large projects like this, we want to follow up the contractor in the best possible way. Veidekke and Epiroc have had a good collaboration over many years, through similar projects, that works as a great foundation. We are also fortunate to have the opportunity to deploy our assistant business controller at the facility for a week. Epiroc wants all employees to understand how our customers operate and what challenges they have".

Power and batteries are the future

There are 90 operators and 50 office workers at the site. The work is done in two shifts of 10 or 12 hours. The workers are our Veidekke’s employees: Norwegians, Icelanders and Swedes living in barracks or hotels. "There are high hygienic requirements, and so far no one has tested positive for Covid-19," says Egge. Egge envisions a future with electric or battery-operated machines. This project requires the use of fossil-free fuel.

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