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Contractors World  - UK & Ireland
2013 Vol 3 No 5
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Crossrail Continues Its Silent Journey Beneath the Streets of London - Page 3 of 6

The 1,000 tonne TBM machine Mary has broken through into Woolwich box,

Once completed it will revolutionise East to West travel across London, opening up the Thameside estuary for further development. One possibility is, of course, the heavily promoted Thames Estuary airport to replace the Heathrow airport complex which is long past its ‘use by’ date when compared to other international airports around the world.

The 1,000 tonne TBM machine Mary has broken through into Woolwich box, marking the half-way point of tunnelling in southeast London. Her sister, Sophia,is meanwhile being prepared to start the drive from Woolwich under the Thames.

More than 200,000 tonnes of material excavated and a mile and a half of new tunnel has already been constructed by the two machines to date as one of its tunnelling machines reaches Woolwich and the other prepares to start the drive underneath the River Thames.

Mary started her journey from Plumstead in May and during her three month journey has excavated almost 110,000 tonnes of material and installed 811 concrete rings to line the inside of the tunnel. Her sister, Sophia, reached the Woolwich box in May and is being prepared to start on the second leg of the journey underneath the Thames to North Woolwich.

Gus Scott, Project Manager for Crossrail’s Thames Tunnel, said: “It’s great to know that we’re half way through our tunnelling in southeast London. Mary and Sophia have done a fantastic job so far, between them constructing a mile and a half of brand new tunnels from Plumstead to Woolwich.”

Olympic champions join
Crossrail’s marathon tunnelling race

Olympic champions join S

ite Manager Bob Brown (below) inspects the latest tunnel boring machine ‘Jessica’ ahead of her tunnelling launch in the shadow of Olympic Park. ‘Jessica’ starts tunnelling near Olympic Park and will be followed this winter by ‘Ellie’ in a 1.7 mile tunnelling sprint.

Names for Crossrail’s final two tunnel boring machines (TBM) were suggested by Marion Richardson Primary School in Stepney.

Named after Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE, Jessica, the 1,000 tonne tunnel boring machine will start building a new 1.7 mile (2.7 km) Crossrail tunnel from Pudding Mill Lane, near the Olympic Park, to Stepney Green.

 Page 4 of 6 >>>


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