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Tunnelling machine Victoria arrives at Liverpool Street

Tunnelling machine Victoria arrives at Liverpool Street
  • Crossrail’s 1,000 tonne tunnel machine Victoria breaks into Liverpool Street station
  • Over 40km out of 42km of Crossrail train tunnels now constructed
  • Crossrail tunnelling will conclude in spring 2015
  • Countdown to end of tunnelling will shortly begin when Victoria’s sister machine, Elizabeth, starts final journey from Liverpool Street to Farringdon

Tunnel machine Victoria, named after Queen Victoria who oversaw the birth of modern railways, has successfully broken in to the eastern end of Liverpool Street Crossrail station.

The breakthrough, 40m beneath the City of London, is part of Crossrail’s longest tunnel drive, 8.3km from Limmo Peninsula, near Canning Town, to Farringdon. 

Victoria now has 750m of tunnel to bore, before arriving at her final destination at Farringdon station this spring.

Victoria has joined her sister machine Elizabeth at Liverpool Street who arrived in January. TBM Elizabeth, named after HM The Queen, will shortly begin her journey to Farringdon. Elizabeth’s arrival will link all Crossrail tunnels for the first time with the big east/west breakthrough at Farringdon in the spring.

On completion of Crossrail tunnelling, a total of 42km of rail tunnel will have been bored as part of Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Over 40km out of 42km have now been constructed.

Elizabeth and Victoria each weigh 1,000 tonnes, are 150m long and over seven metres in diameter. They are the last of eight Crossrail tunnel machines to have carved a route beneath London linking the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and southeast London.

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Crossrail will boost the capital’s rail capacity by 10%, bringing an additional 1.5m people with 45 minutes commute of central London.

Liverpool Street is one of 10 new Crossrail stations being built in central and southeast London. The new station will be located between London Underground’s existing Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations, with connections to both.

Crossrail services through central London will commence in December 2018. When the TfL-run Crossrail service is fully open in 2019, it will give commuters easy access to destinations across London and the South East including Canary Wharf and Heathrow.

Joint Venture Dragados Sisk is constructing the eastern tunnels between Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney Green, Limmo Peninsula and Farringdon, and Victoria Dock Portal and Limmo.

The station tunnels at Liverpool Street have been built by a joint venture comprising Balfour Beatty, BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and Vinci Construction. 

About Crossrail:

Start of Crossrail construction began at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009. Tunnelling for Crossrail began in May 2012.

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

The Crossrail route will pass through 40 stations and run more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21km (13 miles) tunnels below London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

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.