New Crossrail images show ‘London tunnelling marathon’ underway beneath the capital

Posted: 28 February 2013 | | No comments yet

New images released show the tunnelling marathon taking place beneath the capital…

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New images released by Crossrail today show the tunnelling marathon taking place beneath the capital, with round-the-clock work on-track to create 26 miles (42km) of tunnels beneath London.

The new Crossrail route from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east includes a marathon-equivalent 26 mile (42km) section of tunnels. Following the aerial images of Crossrail construction sites released last month, new tunnelling images released today show how Europe’s biggest construction project is also making its mark beneath the capital. The new images show tunnelling work underway at Crossrail sites including:

  • Five tunnelling machines now in operation – Phyllis and Ada in west London, Elizabeth and Victoria in east London, and Sophia in Plumstead, southeast London
  • Together the five machines have created more than 5km / 3 miles of tunnels so far with nearly 500 metres built in the single biggest week of tunnelling to-date
  • In the western tunnels alone tunnelling machine Phyllis has put over 1,500 tunnel rings in place between Royal Oak and Park Lane at the edge of Hyde Park
  • The western tunnelling machines will pass through the new Crossrail station at Bond Street this spring followed by Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon later this year, while the eastern tunnelling machines will break through into Canary Wharf station box this spring
  • Tunnelling underway beneath four central London station sites using Sprayed Concrete Lining ‘mining’ techniques – Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel
  • Sprayed Concrete Lining will be used to build a total of 12km of platform tunnels and cross passages at stations along the Crossrail route
  • Sprayed Concrete Lining underway at the huge 34.5 metres deep Stepney Green shaft in east London – one of Europe’s largest underground caverns which is large enough to fit 100 double decker buses. The works are to allow the two eastern tunnelling machines to pass through the shaft later this year on their way to Farringdon via Whitechapel and Liverpool Street
  • Crossrail’s sixth and seventh tunnel boring machines will begin further tunnelling work in Plumstead and Pudding Mill Lane later this year
  • Refurbishment works well underway at the 135 year old Connaught Tunnel in southeast London which will be brought back into use for Crossrail. A section of the Royal Docks will shortly be drained to allow major works later this year to open the tunnel from above for the first time since its construction in 1878

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s Chief Executive said: “With 26 miles of new tunnels to be built for Crossrail we are delivering our own London marathon beneath the streets of the capital. This is a huge and complex task with work underway 24 hours a day below London’s streets but our first few miles of tunnel are now completed. These new underground images show the scale of transformation taking place beneath London and the essential new transport links being created with every metre of new tunnel built.”

When Crossrail opens in 2018, it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent and dramatically cut journey times across the city.

Through the new transport links and significant over-station developments being delivered, Crossrail will support regeneration across the capital with economic forecasts suggesting the project will add up to £42 billion to the UK economy.

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