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Permanent exhibition in the Museum of work

The technology – Factsheet

Name TRUDE = Tief Runter Unter Die Elbe (English: deep down under the Elbe)
Size Ø 14,2 m
Weight 380 t
Duration of work: 2 ½ years August 1997 until March 2000
Drilling speed 6m/day
Length of the tunnel 2.560 m (total legth incl. ramps: 4.400 m)
Manufacturer Herrenknecht AG

Permanent exhibition in the Museum of work

TRUDE is probably the biggest and hungriest lady in Hamburg. In around 2 ½ years she chewed her way under the Elbe River, digging the fourth bore of the Elbe Tunnel in the process. On her way from Waltershof to Othmarschen, a distance of 2,560 meters, she moved approximately 400, 000 cubic meters of soil. The name TRUDE is an acronym for Tief Runter Unter Die Elbe (deep down under the Elbe) and it describes where TRUDE was employed. The 14.2m and 380t cutter wheel of the Elbe tunnel boring machine stands in the courtyard of the Museum der Arbeit as a technical monument.

Hamburg has a long tradition of digging under the Elbe: the first tunnel under the river, the Old Elbe Tunnel located at Landungsbrücken, was built in 1911. It was the city’s first tunnel river crossing, followed in 1975 by the three bores of the New Elbe Tunnel between Waltershof and Othmarschen. Both Elbe tunnels were outstanding technical achievements and they each presented significant challenges for engineers and workers alike. Although both projects used the very latest technology available at that time, neither would have been possible without the effort and input of the workers.
Regrettably, no tools from the first two projects have survived to document this incredible technical achievement. After the last project – the fourth bore of the new tunnel – was completed, the Museum der Arbeit was determined to preserve a piece of this landmark construction project that plays such a great role in the everyday lives of the city’s inhabitants. With the support of many businesses and individuals, the Museum succeeded in bringing TRUDE’s cutter wheel to Barmbek.

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