Latest Rail News

30.01.15

Crossrail breaks into Liverpool Street

Elizabeth, one of the last two Crossrail tunnelling machines, has arrived in the City of London after breaking through in to Liverpool Street Crossrail station.

The breakthrough, 40m beneath the City of London, is part of Crossrail’s longest tunnel drive, 8.3km from Limmo Peninsula, near Canning Town, to Farringdon.

Elizabeth now has 750 metres of tunnel left to bore, before arriving at her final destination at Farringdon station. Elizabeth will finish her tunnel drive and link all Crossrail tunnels for the first time with the big east/west breakthrough at Farringdon in the spring.

Her sister machine Victoria will arrive at Farringdon a few weeks later. Only 2km of tunnelling remains from a total of 42km of tunnel that will have been bored as part of Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

Elizabeth and Victoria each weigh 1,000 tonnes, are 150 metres long and over seven metres in diameter. They are the last of eight Crossrail tunnel machines to have carved a route beneath London linking the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and southeast London.

A crew of 20 mans each tunnel-boring machine, pulling 12-hour shifts around the clock. A controller monitors an array of panels at a computer console near the front of the tunnelling machine to guide its progress.

The machines travel around 100 metres a week on average.

TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Liverpool Street station January 2015 175374

Crossrail will boost the capital’s rail capacity by 10%, bringing an additional 1.5m people with 45 minutes commute of central London.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: “We are now on the final countdown to the big east/west breakthrough at Farringdon, which will link all of Crossrail’s tunnels for the first time. This is a phenomenal feat of civil engineering that London can be justifiably proud of. The next challenge is to implement railway systems across the route, keeping the project on time and within budget.”

Liverpool Street is one of 10 new Crossrail stations being built in central and southeast London. When the TfL-run Crossrail service is fully open in 2019, it will give commuters easy access to destinations across London and the South East including Canary Wharf and Heathrow. The station will be located between London Underground’s existing Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations, with connections to both.

Joint Venture Dragados Sisk is constructing the eastern tunnels between Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney Green, Limmo Peninsula and Farringdon, and Victoria Dock Portal and Limmo. The station tunnels at Liverpool Street have been built by a joint venture comprising Balfour Beatty, BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and Vinci Construction.

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