Crossrail launches its final TBM

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Crossrail launches its final TBM

The eighth and last tunnel boring machine on the £14.8bn Crossrail construction project has now begun her journey from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green in London’s East End.







Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Ellie is one of eight machines that together are driving 26.25 miles (42km) of large diameter tunnels under the capital.

She broke ground a stone’s throw from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will dive up to 30m below ground on her 2.7km journey to Stepney Green, before breaking into one of Europe’s largest mined caverns later this year. This tunnel will form part of Crossrail’s north east spur from Whitechapel to Shenfield in Essex.

TBM Ellie is operated by a team of 20 people. She weighs in at 1,000 tonnes, is 150m long and 7.1m in diameter. Her sister machine, Jessica, completed the journey from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green on 3rd February and in the coming weeks will be taken to Limmo Peninsula near Canning Town in east London, where she will begin Crossrail’s last tunnel drive towards Victoria Dock Portal.

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

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: “Crossrail’s continuing progress is evidence of Britain’s ability to deliver large scale infrastructure projects on time and within budget. It is fitting that our latest tunnelling milestone, the launch of our eighth machine, Ellie, is taking place only a short distance from the scene of some of Britain’s greatest modern sporting triumphs.”

The launch of Ellie comes after a series of tunnelling milestones lately: the western tunnels have reaching structural completion; the first Crossrail tunnel beneath the Thames is now completed at North Woolwich; and there have been three TBM breakthroughs at Whitechapel and Stepney Green in recent weeks. TBM Mary has also recently re-launched from Woolwich Box and will complete the final section of Crossrail tunnel under the Thames between Plumstead and North Woolwich.

At the start of the year the project passed its halfway point – on time and within budget. More than 30km of the 42km of bored tunnels are now complete.


Crossrail’s recent tunnel milestones:

20 January 2014

TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Whitechapel Crossrail station

24 January 2014

TBM Ada completes her journey from Royal Oak to Farringdon; the western tunnels are now structurally complete

29 January 2014

TBM Sophia arrives at North Woolwich portal, completing her journey from Plumstead

30 January 2014

TBM Victoria breaks into Stepney Green cavern

3 February 2014

TBM Jessica breaks into Stepney Green cavern, completing her journey from Pudding Mill Lane

25 February 2014

TBM Ellie launches from Pudding Mill Lane towards Stepney Green






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