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As the TBMs advance forward, precast concrete segments wi l l be bui lt in rings behind the TBMs. Concrete segments for the western running tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon will be manufactured at Old Oak Common.

Work is now underway to construct the tunnel segment factory on railway land at Old Oak Common and on is track to be completed later this year.

When operational, the faci l ity wi l l contain 216 moulds for the 75,000 concrete segments needed to line Crossrail’s western running tunnels. Approximately 50 people will be employed on-site and it will churn out over 200 segments per day at peak. The factory is being built specifcally for the producton of Crossrail tunnel segments and once tunnelling is complete, it will be removed.

Crossrail is currently finalising arrangements with the tunnelling contractors regarding the location of the other concrete segment manufacturing sites.

42 km of bored tunnel

The fve tunnels to be constructed are:

• Royal Oak to Farringdon west - length of drive approximately 6.1 km • Limmo Peninsula in the Royal Docks to Farringdon east - length of drive approximately 8.3 km • Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green - length of drive approximately 2.7 km

• Limmo Peninsula in the Royal Docks to Victoria Dock Portal - length of drive approximately 0.9 km • Plumstead to North Woolwich - length of drive approximately 2.6 km

All of this adds up to 42 km of bored tunnels located below the busy streets of London. Five tunnel portals will be constructed as part of Crossrail at Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane, North Woolwich, Victoria Dock and Plumstead.

The main Western and Eastern running tunnels will have tunnel portals at Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Victoria

Dock. The tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will commence their eastbound journey under London from Royal Oak and westbound from the Royal Docks.

To deliver Crossrail services to Abbey Wood, a tunnel will be constructed between North Woolwich and Plumstead – the Thames Tunnel. Tunnel portals will be constructed at either end in advance of the main tunnelling works.

A major milestone

Ailie MacAdam, Crossrail Central Section Delivery Director said: “Crossrail has now reached its first tunnelling milestone with the completion of Royal Oak Portal. Work is now underway to prepare for the arrival of the tunnel boring machines ahead of tunnelling commencing in spring 2012.”

Prehistoric animal bones were uncovered by archaeologists during excavaton for the portal. The remains included those of the Auroch, a large ancestor of modern cattle and their discovery is of scientific importance. The prehistoric bones are now being studied before they are incorporated into the Natural History Museum’s permanent collecton.

Page 15 Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 1 No 6

Everything set for the TBMs to begin work with massive ‘eye-holes to protect the face of the machines as they begin their drive.

Job done - ahead of schedule and now handed over to the contractors for the tunnelling works.

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