The latest addition to Crossrail’s tunnelling team – 1,000 tonne Victoria – has begun work, joining sister tunnelling machine Elizabeth to create the eastern section of the new rail line between Docklands and central London.
The two machines will create the 8.3km (5.16 miles) eastern tunnels from Docklands to Farringdon – Crossrail’s longest tunnel section.
Elizabeth and Victoria are Crossrail’s third and fourth tunnelling machines and follow Phyllis and Ada who were launched in west London earlier this year. Elizabeth and Victoria will tunnel beneath the River Lea through new Crossrail stations at Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street before arriving at Farringdon in late 2014.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s Chief Executive said: “The start of tunnelling by Victoria is a significant milestone to end 2012. With sister machine Elizabeth already underway, tunnelling for Crossrail’s eastern tunnels between Docklands and Farringdon is now fully up and running.”
In west London, Crossrail’s first two tunnelling machines Phyllis and Ada have now completed over 3km of tunnelling. Phyllis is currently tunnelling under Hyde Park while Ada has entered the station box at Paddington after successfully passing under the national rail lines into Paddington station.
Across the whole Crossrail project, eight tunnelling machines will construct 21 kilometres (13 miles) of twin tunnels under London. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Gallery - TBM Elizabeth and Victoria lowered 40 metres underground - October 2012
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Notes to editors:
Joint Venture Dragados Sisk are constructing the eastern tunnels between Limmo Peninsula and Farringdon, Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney Green and Victoria Dock Portal and Limmo.
Tunnelling for Crossrail began at Royal Oak in west London in May 2012. The first two machines Phyllis and Ada will progress on to Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road before completing their journey at Farringdon next year.
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.