Contractors World

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Contractors World - 2014 Vol 4 No 5

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Crossrail completes tunnels in Docklands and southeast London - continued

TBMs Recycled Instead of Being Buried

Crossrail completes tunnels in Docklands and southeast LondonIt is Ellie’s second drive, having already completed a 2.7 km stretch from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green.

  1. Platform tunnels at the new Crossrail Bond Street station. The 260 metre long platforms run parallel to and around 100 metres to the south of Oxford Street.

  2. Machinery in the new platform tunnels for Liverpool Street station. More than 1.5 kilometres of platform and pedestrian tunnels are being created over 40 metres below ground level.

  3. Train tunnel at Paddington. The new Crossrail station is being constructed directly next to Brunel’s Grade I listed Paddington mainline station. Once complete, the station will be 250 metres long and 30 metres wide.

  4. Platform tunnels at Tottenham Court Road. Alongside TfL’s upgrade of the existing Tube station, Crossrail is building a new station the length of three football pitches, four storeys below ground.

  5. Platform tunnels at the new Farringdon station. When it opens in 2018, Farringdon will be one of the busiest stations in Britain.

As part of Crossrail’s environmental awareness programme, she will now be dismantled and returned to manufacturer Herrenknecht, with the parts recycled for future projects. In many tunnelling projects, the TBM is simlpy driven into a unwanted tunnel and buried.

Tunnel machine Elizabeth is 60% through Crossrail’s longest drive, a distance of 8.3 km from Limmo to Farringdon. She has already successfully negotiated Canary Wharf Crossrail station and Stepney Green cavern, before waiting in Whitechapel ahead of the completion of a shaft beneath Durward Street. The drive to Farringdon will reach the deepest point on the Crossrail route, approximately 40 m beneath street level near the Barbican in the City of London.

Each of Crossrail’s eight tunnel boring machines weighs 1,000 tonnes, is up to 150 metres long and 7.1 metres in diameter. They are staffed by teams of 20 working around the clock. Crossrail’s eastern tunnels are built by Dragados Sisk Joint Venture.

More than 23 miles (nearly 90%) of train tunnels are now complete, with tunnelling due to finish in spring next year. Six of Crossrail’s eight tunnelling machines have now completed their drives. The construction of ten new stations in central and southeast London is more than half complete.

The surface works, delivered by Network Rail, are well underway. Significant progress has been made on the new flyover at Stockley, providing access to Heathrow, and on a new diveunder at Acton. In addition, a temporary station has opened at Abbey Wood to allow the new Crossrail station to be built.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said:

Crossrail is being delivered on time and on budget. These fantastic images show the scale of work taking place around the clock beneath the streets of London. We are on schedule to provide London and the South East with a fantastic new railway in 2018.

Over the coming months, while tunnelling will continue, Crossrail’s focus will shift to the substantial job of fitting out the stations and tunnels.


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