August 22nd 2012
Crossrail’s first tunnel boring machine (TBM), Phyllis, has reached Paddington, three months and 750 metres after breaking ground at Royal Oak.
Eight tunnel boring machine will be used in total to construct 21 kilometres (13 miles) of Crossrail’s twin bore tunnels running between Royal Oak in west London and Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead in east London.
A second TBM, Ada, has now also commenced tunnelling towards Paddington.
Keith Sibley, Crossrail area director west, said: “Our first TBM, Phyllis, has now successfully reached Paddington having carefully navigated under London Underground’s Hammersmith & City line and the Great Western Main Line.”
A 24 kilometre conveyer belt will be installed once Ada is fully below ground to remove excavated material from the western tunnels.
A total of 66,000 tonnes of excavated material has been transported to Northfleet, Kent, so far.
Two kilometres of 900mm narrow gauge tunnel railway has also been laid from Westbourne Park to enable tunnel locomotives to transport materials and supplies into and out of the tunnel.
Sibley added: “Once Ada has made sufficient progress, Phyllis will move forward through the Paddington station box onwards to Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and then Farringdon. The tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon will be completed in late 2013.”
A further two tunnel boring machines, Elizabeth and Victoria, are currently being assembled at Limmo Peninsula beside Canning Town station for the eastern tunnels between Docklands and Farringdon, with tunneling due to commence at Limmo Peninsula this winter.
A fifth TBM, Sophia, has recently completed factory testing and will begin constructing the 2.6km Thames Tunnel between Plumstead and North Woolwich early next year.