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Crossrail in pictures: We’ve reached half way but what’s actually happening down there?

Posted at 5:30 pm, January 20, 2014 in News, Transport
Crossrail ©RobGreig

Some 30 metres under the streets of London, Elizabeth is crawling towards Whitechapel. Since 2009, she and seven other ‘tunnel boring machines’ (also given female names, like ships) have been chomping their way through ancient layers of clay to realise Europe’s biggest engineering  project: Crossrail. Having reached the halfway mark last week, the £14.8billion scheme’s projected completion date of 2018 is looking doable. Soon, we’ll all be able to travel from the furthest stretches of west London to the outer tentacles of east London super speedily – and get from Bond Street to Heathrow in a staggering 26 minutes.

Our photographer Rob Greig went down to Stepney Green and Bond Street to take a look at this half-way point:

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Crossrail are borrowing the land above the caverns from the Stepney Green City Farm.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Directly behind the drill bit.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

The cramped conditions of men on 12 hour shifts at the tunnel face.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Slabs.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Train to transport these slabs.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Temporary track laid to transport the concrete tunnel lining slabs.

Crossrail ©RobGreig Crossrail ©RobGreig

Heading toward the twin tunnels in Stepney.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Above the shaft in Bond Street. The delicate operation to avoid damaging the densely inhabited area.

Crossrail ©RobGreig Crossrail ©RobGreig

Lining the tunnels.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Transformer-style machine.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Monster machinery.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Sprayed concrete lining of the tunnels heading East.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

The tally man’s shack – all those entering the shafts are counted in and counted out again.

Crossrail ©RobGreig

Six floors under the streets of Mayfair.

Find out more about transport in London.

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