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Assembly of Crossrail's first tunnelling machine complete

By Tom Lawson

The cutterhead for Crossrail's first tunnel boring machine has now been lifted and lowered into place, as assembly of the TBM progresses at Westbourne Park.  

Assembly of the first Crossrail TBM is complete and it is now due to undergo testing ahead of the start of tunnelling. Work is well underway to re-assemble the second TBM that will launch from Royal Oak Portal in April.

Next month, the first TBM will be launched into one of the twin bores at Royal Oak Portal tunnelling east towards Farringdon. A second TBM will subsequently be launched in April through the second bore. At over 140 metres long and weighing around 1,000 tonnes the TBMs will travel 6.4km (4 miles) eastbound under London via Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road before reaching Farringdon in 2013.

The short time lapse sequence above and gallery of images below show the cutterhead being lifted and lowered into place.  

Help us to name our tunnelling machines by voting for your favourite pair of names and be in with a chance to win a fantastic prize.

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