Ruslan Baisarov’s TBM Victoria takes Guinness World Records

For the first time in tunnel construction history, as many as 23 shields were used simultaneously to excavate underground tunnels of the Moscow metro railroad. And so, construction veteran Ruslan Baysarov’s SK Most Group of Companies entered the Guinness World Records for the most tunnel boring machines (TBMs) used at the same time on the same project. One of the TBMs used for the project is Victoria, a machine owned by SK Most Group of Companies which was used in this landmark project. But Victoria is only one of the 23 shields needed to work together to achieve this phenomenal success.

Tunnel boring machine ‘Victoria’ enters Guinness records

Tunnel boring machine ‘Victoria’ enters Guinness records

23 Stars

Alongside Victoria, 22 other TBMs helped break the record. All of them were given female names like Liliya, Svetlana, Hope, Rose, Alexandra, Esmina, Sofia, Claudia and Daria and others. The penetration rate of these shields is high, around 15 meters per day as they dig through the ground to excavate a tunnel and lay the concrete lining at the same time. This method significantly reduces construction time.

Why Victoria Shines the Brightest

The TBM Victoria is particularly fast and efficient when it comes to tunnel construction in more ways than one. Owned by SK Most Group of Companies, this machine is extensively used in laying a two-track tunnel on the Eastern section of the Bolshaya Koltsevaya line. This section is currently a priority in the construction of the Moscow metro.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin promised Muscovites that the Bolshaya Koltsevaya line would be completed in two years. Since the mayor specified that postponing deadlines would not be acceptable, what better machine to get the job done on time than Victoria? After all, this is not the first time this machine has set a Guinness World Record.

Prior to being part of the team that broke this record, Victoria became the first TBM to be lowered into the ground for work, already assembled, thus setting a record. The standard practice of working with this type of machinery is to lower the shield’s components into the construction pit where it is assembled underground.

For the first time in Russia, technology was used to transport a machine which is over 10 meters in diameter and weighs more than 830 tons. First, Victoria was lifted a meter above the ground, then the unique machine was moved 50 meters above the ground before getting lowered into an underground chamber 23 meters deep. As with many other major infrastructure projects, mayor Sobyanin personally monitored this unique operation.

TBM ‘Victoria’, owned by Ruslan Baysarov’s SK Most Group, became the world record holder

TBM ‘Victoria’, owned by Ruslan Baysarov’s SK Most Group, became the world record holder

How the Guinness World Record Was Broken

At the end of March 2020, the record was duly verified by officials from Guinness after a rigorous process was observed. A judge from the organization was appointed, as well as approximately 50 participating witnesses, as due diligence was carried out in collecting evidence to substantiate the world record.

Two people were assigned to each of the 23 sites where tunneling operations were taking place. Armed with clear instructions given to them the day before, these witnesses collected video evidence to be submitted to the judge who was situated in London, the UK which is where the final decision about awarding the world record was made. The video evidence consisted of five minutes of footage covering the operation of each TBM in the tunnel complex. The information was recorded and then passed on to the judge. This was followed by several hours in which participants were waiting in anticipation until notification that the record was set was finally received.

On Track and on Time

The project is currently running smoothly and over 220 of the 1,310 meters of the tunnel have already been excavated. Victoria, owned by Ruslan Baysarov and SK Most Group of Companies, has already installed over 122 rings of reinforced concrete lining from the Tekstilschiki Station. Based on preliminary projections, the Pechatniki Station will be reached by July 2020. From there the tunnel will continue to be excavated all the way to the Nagatinsky Zaton Station. This ambitious and successful project is not the first, or last, of Ruslan Baysarov’s many unique construction ventures.

Specialists of Ruslan Baysarov’s SK Most Group surpervise the tunnelling operations of TBM Victoria

Specialists of Ruslan Baysarov’s SK Most Group surpervise the tunnelling operations of TBM Victoria

Other Exclusive Projects by Ruslan Baysarov and SK Most Group of Companies

Since 2016, Ruslan Baysarov has been instrumental in building a range of transport infrastructure facilities throughout Russia. The company has over 2,500 successfully completed projects, each unique in its own way. Some of these projects include:

  • Construction of the second Baikal tunnel as part of the BAM reconstruction. SK Most Group of Companies carried out 6.7km of the project by tunneling through a mountain range under challenging conditions. This is an ongoing project.
  • Construction of a railway viaduct in challenging geological conditions in Serbia. This project required the company to create special anti-landslide structures.
  • A combined railway and motorway built in record time for the Sochi Olympic Games. This project required the construction of a dozen mountain tunnels and over 40 bridges.
  • Construction of port facilities for the Arctic harbor of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula. Work was done to excavate the bottom of the area to create the port as well as an underwater channel. All facilities on land were completely reconstructed.
  • The construction of the first road bridge that crossed the border between Russia and China. The bridge was constructed in Blagoveshchensk in the summer and is already all set to begin accommodating vehicles. The associated railway bridge nearby the village of Nizhneleninskoye in the Jewish Autonomous district is nearing completion.

Ruslan Baysarov, who has long been associated with some of Russia’s largest infrastructure projects, is also known for his role in constructing the very first railway line in the Republic of Tuva. This railroad will connect Tuva with the rest of the infrastructure in Russia and will eventually become a delivery route for coal extracted and processed at the largest coal deposit in Russia, the Elegest coalfield. The Elegest coal deposit is also being developed by one of Ruslan Baysarov’s companies, Tuva Energy Industrial Corporation.

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