Crossrail’s first tunnel beneath the Thames in London has been completed, as part of a series of tunnelling milestones achieved under the programme.
The milestones achieved also include structural completion of Crossrail’s western tunnels with tunnel boring machine (TBM) ‘Ada’ reaching the final destination at Farringdon.
Tunnelling by TBM ‘Jessica’ starting from Pudding Mill Lane and through Stepney Green, one of Europe’s largest mined caverns, has been completed.
The milestones also mark 70% completion of the 42km tunnelling marathon with construction of over 30km of new rail tunnel under London.
Civil construction of the first of two new Bond Street station ticket halls has also been completed. Work on a passenger tunnel linking the Crossrail ticket hall to the existing underground station will begin in the first half of this month.
The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and run for more than 100km, including through new twin-bore 21km tunnels underneath central London.
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Crossrail is the new high frequency railway for London and the South East, and is expected to increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10% when operational.
Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: "The tunnelling teams deserve tremendous credit for their safe and efficient progress in constructing this major new railway under London. The end is now in sight for Crossrail tunnelling with over 70% of the new rail tunnels now constructed.
"The next major element of the Crossrail programme will now begin with the fit-out of our tunnels and stations."
Image: Tunnel beneath the Thames constructed by TBM ‘Sophia’. Photo: courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.