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October 21, 2014

New Crossrail tunnels in Docklands and south-east London completed

Crossrail's new train tunnels in Docklands and south-east London, UK, has been completed, bringing the total number of finished rail tunnels under the programme to 87%.

By Samseer M

TBM Ellie_victoria dock portal

Crossrail’s new train tunnels in Docklands and south-east London, UK, has been completed, bringing the total number of finished rail tunnels under the programme to 87%.

The 900m drive started from Limmo Peninsula, near Canning Town, and the tunnel is close to the London Underground’s Jubilee line, Docklands Light Railway, the River Thames and the River Lea.

It also completed a set of Crossrail tunnels in east and south-east London that stretch from Plumstead to Whitechapel, with an additional spur between Stepney Green and Stratford.

"The next challenge is to fit out the tunnels and stations with systems to run Crossrail trains through central London in 2018."

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) Ellie had earlier finished a 2.7km stretch from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green and now will be returned to its manufacturer Herrenknecht.

Crossrail programme director Simon Wright said: "The end is in sight for Crossrail’s tunnelling marathon. Having successfully delivered all bored tunnels west of Farringdon and east of Whitechapel, we now begin the final push to complete tunnelling at Farringdon next year.

"The next challenge is to fit out the tunnels and stations with systems to run Crossrail trains through central London in 2018."

The TBM Elizabeth has started the last lap from Whitechapel and another machine Victoria is set to finish tunnels at Farringdon in 2015.

Elizabeth has completed 60% of the 8.3km-long Limmo to Farringdon tunnel and it will reach around 40m below street level near the Barbican in the City of London.

Crossrail’s eight TBMs are working on ten different drives to build a total of 42km of tunnels.

The 100km-long Crossrail route will serve 40 stations and run from Reading and Heathrow Airport. Services are scheduled to begin in 2018.

When fully operational in 2019, Crossrail will increase London’s rail-based transport capacity by 10%, as well as support regeneration, reduce journey times and bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.


Image: TBM Ellie breakthrough at Victoria Dock Portal. Photo: courtesy of Crossrail.

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