Front sheild of TMB Emily lifted at Victoria Road crossover site

HS2 Makes Progress on London's Northolt Tunnel with Third Giant TBM Launch

HS2, the high-speed rail project, celebrates a major milestone with the launch of "Emily," the third massive tunnel boring machine (TBM) for its Northolt Tunnel project. Named after a local champion of women's rights and community leadership, Emily Sophia Taylor, this 1,700-tonne titan will tackle nearly half of the 8.4-mile tunnel under London's Ealing borough.

Tailored for London's soft clay, Emily, a 9.11m-diameter earth pressure balance machine crafted by tunnelling leader Herrenknecht, joins Sushila and Caroline, already carving the eastern section from West Ruislip.

Together with her soon-to-be-launched companion, Anne, Emily will take on the western leg of the Northolt Tunnel, starting at Victoria Road Crossover Box. All four TBMs are projected to finish their journeys by 2025.

Demonstrating their commitment to sustainability, HS2 will transport excavated London clay via conveyor to the Willesden Euro Terminal for repurposing at construction sites in Cambridgeshire, Kent, and Rugby.

Speaking about the next TBM launching in London for HS2, Malcolm Codling, project Client Director, HS2 Ltd, said:

“We are working at peak construction on HS2, delivering the tunnels which HS2 trains will travel through under London. The preparation to launch TBM Emily has been complex and we remain on schedule to complete the Northolt Tunnel in 2025.”

Meanwhile, the project also progresses on the separate Euston Tunnel, connecting Old Oak Common to London Euston station. The Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel, crucial for Euston construction, was completed in January, with two additional TBMs expected at Old Oak Common this year for the Euston tunnel.


Image credit: HS2


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