HS2

11.08.20

HS2 tunnelling machines named Florence and Cecilia

Today HS2 has revealed (11 Aug) the first images and publicly voted for names of the first two completed giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will dig the 10-mile-long twin-bore Chiltern tunnel on the first phase of the UK’s new low carbon, high speed railway between London and the West Midlands.

The publicly picked names are Florence and Cecilia, were suggested by students at Meadow High School in Hillingdon and The Chalfonts Community College, Buckinghamshire.

The schools that suggested the names are close to HS2’s South Portal site, from where the first tunnel boring machines will launch early next year.

The first machine is named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who spent many years living in Claydon, Buckinghamshire.

And the second machine is named after pioneering astronomer and astrophysicist, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who in born in Buckinghamshire.

Around 4,500 people from across the UK took part in the poll to pick the final names.

The enormous 2,000 tonne machines, which have bene built by world-leading German tunnelling specialists Herrenknecht, will be shipped in pieces to the UK and arrive at Align’s main site to the west of London just inside the M25 later this year.

Andrew Stephenson, HS2 Minster, said: “These impressive tunnel boring machines will be instrumental in delivering the first stage of this transformative rail line between London and the West Midlands, and it is fitting that they bear the names Florence and Cecilia, two iconic women from this area whose achievements remain famous today.

“HS2 will provide better, more reliable connections that truly level up our country, boosting economic growth and sharing opportunities. I want to thank all the students who played a role in this milestone moment, and who will benefit from this high-speed railway for years to come.”

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston said: “The launch of our first tunnelling machines will be a defining moment in the history of HS2 and our work to deliver a low carbon, high speed railway that will change the way we travel in the UK. 

“I’d like to thank all the schools that took part in the first stage of the competition, the pupils who suggested the three shortlisted names, and all those who voted online. It’s great to see local communities engaging with the project, and schoolchildren being inspired by the scientific and technological ambition of HS2.”

Images: HS2 

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