For information about remaining Crossrail construction works visit our Near You interactive map. For information about the Elizabeth line please visit the Transport for London website.

First TBM components arrive for Crossrail’s eastern tunnels

First TBM components arrive for Crossrail’s eastern tunnels

Assembly of Crossrail’s next 1,000 tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM), Elizabeth, has today commenced at Limmo Peninsula in east London.

During the next four months, components for the 150 metre long machine will be transported to the Limmo worksite from Tilbury Docks and reassembled before being lowered in sections into two huge shafts.

Once fully assembled below ground, Elizabeth will begin constructing the first of Crossrail’s two eastern running tunnels between Docklands and central London.

Workers have reached the temporary bottom of the two huge launch shafts and have commenced work on sprayed concrete lined tunnels to connect the two shafts. The larger of the two shafts is 30 metres in diameter and will be 44 metres deep when completed.

Limmo Peninsula, located adjacent to Canning Town station, is a key Crossrail worksite from where Elizabeth and Victoria will be launched.

The machines will construct Crossrail’s longest tunnel section running 8.3 km (5.16 miles) to Farringdon station via Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street.

Victoria is due to commence tunnelling this winter and completed her factory testing last week. This means that four of the eight Crossrail TBMs have now been manufactured.

Crossrail’s Eastern Tunnels Project Manager Peter Main said: “Work is now underway to assemble the tunnel boring machines for Crossrail’s eastern tunnels between Docklands and central London. These machines will carve some 1.2 million tonnes of excavated material from under London and help build a rail line that will transform rail transport in the capital. When Crossrail opens, passengers will be able to travel from Abbey Wood to Farringdon station in just 20 minutes or between Stratford and Heathrow in less than 45 minutes.”

Crossrail will build a new dock and conveyer system at Limmo to take the excavated material from the eastern tunnels to Wallasea Island in Essex by ship. The excavated material will be used to create Europe’s largest manmade inter-tidal nature reserve.

The dock will also be used to receive more than 120,000 concrete segments that will line the tunnels. The concrete segments will be transported by ship to Limmo Peninsula from a pre-cast concrete segment factory at Chatham in Kent.

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email

About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn.

The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.