Crossrail tunnelling now 92pc complete with Liverpool Street breakthrough

PUBLISHED: 17:13 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 07:54 20 March 2015

Tunnelling breakthrough at Liverpool Street 'station box'

Tunnelling breakthrough at Liverpool Street 'station box'


Tunnelling work in London’s long-awaited Crossrail ‘super tube’ construction is now more than nine-tenths complete.

The last two giant tunnel boring machines are on their final journeys from Whitechapel heading west, having just reached the City.

The machines, named Elizabeth and Victoria, which began their journeys from Canning Town in east London 16 months ago, have broken through at the Liverpool Street ‘station box’, completing 92 per cent of the deep burrowing task under east London, the City and West End.

The machines are to continue another 750 yards to Farringdon, where they reach the finish line this spring.

Another two giant machines have been working their way eastward in the opposite direction from Paddington, under the West End.

The 30 miles of bored running tunnels in each direction will be completed at the Farringdon east-west breakthrough point, when London’s major new underground infrastructure is completed.

The excavated twin tunnels were lined with new technology reinforced concrete spraying, much quicker than traditional bolted cast-iron plate linings throughout the older deep-level London tube network used from the 1890s onwards.

Construction work for the new platform tunnels, access tunnels and other passenger spaces deep underground is now 72 per cent finished, with tough waterproof and secondary linings nearing completion.

Similar work at Fisher Street, Stepney Green, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel will be finished later this year, once the last two tunnel boring machines are removed from the Farringdon site, Crossrail has announced.

The £16 billion Crossrail ‘super tube’ is due to start running in 2018, with direct links from Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Stratford and Liverpool Street to Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west, Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, with central London stops including Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Paddington where it joins Great Western.

It also forms a vital element in east London’s huge Whitechapel regeneration.

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