Crossrail keeps pace with its own tunnel ‘marathon’ under London

Station tunnels at Whitechapel

Station tunnels at Whitechapel - Credit: Crossrail

Crossrail workers are keeping up the pace on their own ‘marathon’ deep beneath the streets of east London.

Stepney Green shaft

Stepney Green shaft - Credit: Crossrail

They are currently digging out 26 miles of tunnels from Canning Town across the City and West End to Paddington where the line will come up to the surface.

A fleet of five giant tunnelling machines are churning out millions of tonnes of earth 100ft below the surface, with five-and-a-half miles already complete.

The twin tunnels form the central section of the £16 billion ‘super tube’ which starts running in 2018 with 24 trains an hour from east London direct to Heathrow.

Two tunnelling machines named Elizabeth and Victoria, which started burrowing westward from Canning Town at the beginning of the year, are set to reach the Canary Wharf station site later this month, before ‘resting’ and pressing on to the 100ft deep shaft at Stepney Green, one of Europe’s largest underground caverns, on the way to Whitechapel and Liverpool Street.

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