© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


Crossrail breakthrough at Canary Wharf Station

Posted at 6:30 pm, May 31, 2013 in Transport
Boris Crossrail gif © Ed Marshall

This morning, Boris Johnson and I (with a few other VIPs) descended into the Crossrail station box (or ‘dark cathedral’ as BoJO called it) 20 meters below the bed of the Thames to see the unveiling of Tunnel Boring Machine ‘Elizabeth’. She has just made a triumphant emergence after a ploughing through 1.5km of earth. Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin was on hand to offer a few words of encouragement for the immense Crossrail project, along with Crossrail Chief Exec Andrew Wolstenholme who said ‘The Canary Wharf tunnelling breakthrough is our biggest milestone so far and a symbolic moment that shows the scale of the essential new transport links Crossrail is delivering’.

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

Elizabeth was a sight for sore eyes. She’s one of the eight TBMs burrowing away under London 24 hours a day. Each ‘gigantic worm’ (another Borisism) is an impressive 7.1m in diameter, 150m long, 1000 tonnes heavy and housing 20 workers each shift. Everyone was pretty excited to get up close and personal with the great big lady drill and now you can feel like you were there, almost, by looking at the pics below…

And here she is in all her glory

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

With her gnarly hardworking  teeth

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

 and her gallant crew.

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

Now she just needs to be moved all the way down here…

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

…to here, which will take the next 4-6 weeks. 

Crossrail Tunnel © Ed Marshal;

See the moment Elizabeth emerged into Canary Wharf below…

Find out about the Crossrail 2 project and see another mighty Crossrail cavern.

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