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 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 21km of twin tunnels under London. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.