Railways & Subway

Railway to Jerusalem - A1

The tunnels 'Horesh' and 'Hahamisha'
Owner/client Impresa Pizzarotti & Co. S.p.A.
Type of service Preliminary and Detailed Design
Location ISRAELE
Period 2010 - 2013
Cost € 42.000.000

The designed Tunnels 'Horesh' and 'Hahamisha' are part of the high-speed railway Tel Aviv-Jerusalem, linking the two most important Israel cities. This new railway link developing along 60 km of the internal regions of Israel, with both underground and open-air stretches, reduces the travel time from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to just 28 minutes.

The involved area is characterized by an hilly morphology with some peaks; the geological structure is characterized by the presence of sedimentary formations related to Upper Cretaceous. The lower part of the sedimentary sequence is represented by dolomite that passes in to the limestone with marly interbeds towards the upper part; marly and chalky sediments increase in the formations of the upper part of the sedimentary sequence, where soft rocks prevail and the rock quality decreases.

The Tunnels are excavated in soft rocks (mainly marl and chalk) from the western portal at km 250, and carbonate formations (mainly dolomite, limestone and marl interbeds) from km 250 to the eastern portal.

'Horesh' tunnel

950 meters lenght; Excavation area 78÷89 square meters.

'Hahamisha' tunnel

2050 meters lenght; Excavation area 78÷89 square meters.


Distance between axis 25 meters; by-pass every 250 meters.

Each Tunnel, 950 meters long, excavated by mining methods with maximum overburden above tunnel crown of about 45 meters is a twin tube tunnel 9.2 meters wide and 9.3 meters high, having shape of a horseshoe with a slightly rounded invert; the distance between the walls of the twin tunnels is 15.3 meters, that is 24.6 meters between the two axes.The excavation area of each tube ranges between 78 and 89 square meters.

The first phase lining is made of radial steel bolds placed at the crown, steel ribs and a reinforced shotcrete layer of 15÷20 cm. The totally waterproofed final lining has an uniform thickness along the tunnel, equal to 30 cm at the crown and at the invert, while at the sides it becomes variable up to approx. 60 cm.

The twin tunnels are connected with by-passes each 250 meters where all service systems are lodged; in case of fire the by-passes serve as a safe place and as emergency exits.

Particularly interesting is the eastern portal of the tunnels, where it was impossible to approach from outside, hence the portal was created by underground excavation up to the end of the tunnel. In this area there were some issues due to the morphological formation and to the presence of rock blocks possibly unstable while opening the portal. In order to govern this kind of problems, before opening the portal using underground excavation, an hexagonal mesh wire-net was placed on the slope anchored to the ground and a protection against falling rock blocks was placed at the boundary of the involved area.

Tunnels were excavated using traditional methods (explosives and mechanical means), with excavation sections having a horseshoe shape and slightly rounded inverted arch.