Crossrail TBM ‘Ellie’ has broken through into a cavern 40m beneath Stepney Green, in the East End of London. The breakthrough marks the structural completion of tunnels for Crossrail’s north east spur, between Whitechapel and Pudding Mill Lane.
It has taken Ellie just over three months to complete the 2.7km journey, travelling as much as 72m in a 24 hour period.
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In the coming weeks Ellie will be lifted out of the cavern and taken by road to Limmo Peninsula at Canning Town. From there she will be re-assembled ahead of recommencing tunnelling towards Victoria Dock Portal.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Ellie has made a safe journey from the shadow of the Olympic stadium to our site at Stepney Green. Our tunnel teams deserve congratulations for an impressive feat of engineering. Construction of the new rail tunnels for Europe’s largest infrastructure project is now over 80 per cent complete. Crossrail continues to be delivered on time and on budget.”
When Crossrail opens in 2018, it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent and cut journey times across the city, bringing an extra 1.5m people to within 45 minutes of central London.
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.