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Construction of Barcelona-El Prat Airport’s T1 Rail Access

Barcelona, Spain

Completion of Connection Tunnel on Rodalies Line
  • 4496

    In length

  • 3048

    Dug with a tunnel boring

Construction of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport’s T1 access via the commuter rail network, known within the construction project as “Access to the new terminal at Barcelona Airport. Commuter rail network of Barcelona.”

At the end of 2018, the final section of the tunnel connecting the R2 line from Rodalies with Terminal 1 at the Barcelona-El Prat Airport was finished. In the 3,048-meter tunnel, “Gala,” the tunneling machine that is 10.6 meters in diameter, was used, crossing Terminal 2 as well as the Airport’s Main Runway, the two most important points due to their uniqueness. Its dismantling is currently underway, and work is continuing on the future Multimodal Station in Terminal 2.

Project description

The project entails the railway connection between the Barcelona Airport and El Prat del Llobregat, with a total length of 4,495 meters, 3,385 meters of which is underground. Some 3,048 meters of that stretch are excavated using the tunneling machine. The tunnel is dug with the EPB (Earth Pressure Balanced) tunneling machine, with an EPB shield on front, which has an excavating diameter of 10.6 m and a 9.6 m interior diameter.

Tunneling is happening in the municipal districts of El Prat de Llobregat and Sant Boi, and the new access will have stations at both terminals of the Barcelona Airport. The first stop is located at the future Multimodal Hub in T2, as the current connecting gateway between the current Commuter Rail Station and T2 will no longer be there. The route will then run under the airfield to connect with the new terminal.

Current status

The tunnel’s first kilometer, which runs from where it meets up with the commuter rail system to the new opening, is totally finished, as are the sheet piling, walls, and slabs of the stretch that will run above ground; so are the screens, jet-grouting, and the false tunnel’s upper and lower slabs. Excavation for this section started in September of 2017 with the installation of the tunneling machine and the necessary additions for digging (strips, earth pits, voussoiring, etc.).

The enclosure’s excavation at the future commuter rail station at Terminal 2 is currently underway, with the screens, jet-grouting, and upper and middle slabs already completed.

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