End in sight for Crossrail TBMs 22 Sep 2014
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- The end is within touching distance for TBM excavation of Crossrail’s 21km of twin running tunnels under the heart of London. Twenty-eight months after the launch of the first machine – TBM Phyllis for the 6,400m drive between the Royal Oak portal and Faringdon in May 2012 – Crossrail reports tunnel completion at 84%.
- Just three of the eight Herrenknecht machines procured for the project remain active in the ground following breakthrough last month (August 2014) by TBM Jessica into the Victoria Dock portal at the end of a short 900m drive from Limmo. Earlier this month (11 September) Jessica’s sister machine Ellie launched for the parallel drive, which, when complete in approximately seven weeks time, will complete all TBM boring activities in the eastern part of the UK capital.
|Table 1. Crossrail tunnel drive details and progress|
|TBM *||Launch date||Location||Total Distance||Complete to date||Contractor|
|Phyllis (EPBM)||4 May 2012||Royal Oak-Farringdon (Drive X)||6,400m||Completed 9 Oct 2013||BAM Nuttall/ Ferrovial Agroman/ Kier|
|Ada (EPBM)||23 Aug 2012||Royal Oak-Farringdon (Drive X)||6,400m||Completed 24 Jan 2014||BAM Nuttall/ Ferrovial Agroman/ Kier|
|Elizabeth (EPBM)||29 Dec 2012||Limmo (Docklands) - Farringdon (Drive Y)||8,300m||5,141m||Dragados/Sisk|
|Victoria (EPBM)||12 Dec 2012||Limmo (Docklands) - Farringdon (Drive Y)||8,300m||5,114m||Dragados/Sisk|
|Jessica (EPBM)||4 June 2014||Limmo-Victoria Dock (Drive G)||900m||Completed 11 Aug 2014||Dragados/Sisk|
|Ellie (EPBM)||11 Aug 2014||Limmo--Victoria Dock (Drive G)||900m||Completed 11 Aug 2014||Dragados/Sisk|
|Sophia (slurry TBM)||9 Jan 2013||Plumstead-Woolwich (Drive H - under River Thames)||2,600m||Completed 29 Jan 2014||Hochtief/ Murphy|
|Mary (slurry TBM)||May 2013||Plumstead-Woolwich (Drive H - under River Thames)||2,600m||13 June 2014||Hochtief/ Murphy|
|19 Aug 2013||Pudding Mill Lane-Stepney Green (Drive Z)||2,700m||Completed 3 Feb 2014||Dragados/ Sisk|
|25 February 2014||Pudding Mill Lane-Stepney Green (Drive Z)||2,700m||16 June 2014||Dragados/ Sisk|
* All eight TBMs for Crossrail are manufactured by Herrenknecht
Five breakthroughs in 14 days for Crossrail 3 Feb 2014
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Arrival of TBM Jessica into the Stepney Green crossover cavern at the end of a 2.72km drive for the Dragados/Sisk JV on Monday (3 February) completes a remarkable fifth breakthrough in just 14 days for Crossrail as tunnelling hits 70 percent completion and the western tunnels are completed.
- The latest success follows arrival in the same location just four days earlier (30 January) of TBM Victoria, also for the Dragados/Sisk JV, en route to Farringdon Station and completion of the 8.3km-long eastern tunnels.
- Transport for London (TfL) awards the £1 billion contract to supply, deliver and maintain 65 new trains for Crossrail, as well as a new depot at Old Oak Common, to UK-based Bombardier.
- Bombardier confirms that the new trains will be manufactured and assembled at its plant in Derby. The contract will support 760 UK manufacturing jobs plus 80 apprenticeships. An estimated 74% of contract spend will remain in the UK economy, said the company.
- The contract includes options to build a further 18 trains. TfL will introduce the new trains from May 2017, with the fleet progressively introduced to the existing rail network well in advance of services commencing through Crossrail's central section in December 2018. The rival firms that lost out were Siemens, Constucciones y Auxillar de Ferrocarriles and Hitachi Rail Europe.
- Sister machine Elizabeth, a few hundred meters further advanced, is through into the Whitechapel Crossrail Station following breakthrough on 20 January.
- Meanwhile, the first tunnel under the River Thames is completed by the Hochtief/Murphy JV following breakthrough on 29 January of the first of two slurry TBMs (Sophia) at North Woolwich at the end of a 2,600m drive from Crossrail's most easterly portal at Plumstead.
Breakthrough for Victoria at Stepney Green cavern
- Crossrail Programme Director Andy Mitchell is moving across the City to head up the Thames Tideway project. The 53-year-old is appointed Chief Executive Officer of London's next major tunnel project, where he will be responsible for the financing and delivery of the 25km-long £4.1 billion CSO scheme.
- The second machine excavating the parallel tunnel (Mary) is about to cross under the Thames having completed more than half of its drive, with completion scheduled for next month (March).
- Now that TBM Jessica has completed her drive into Stepney Green she will be transported to the Limmo site for excavation of the parallel 900m drives through to Victoria Dock where there is a short above-ground connection before the line moves east through the rebuilt Connaught tunnel under the docks, emerges once again above ground for a short distance, and then runs under the Thames before emerging at the project's most easterly tunnel portal at Plumstead and on for overland connection to Abbey Wood.
- To complete the string of tunnelling achievements over the last two weeks, both of the twin running western tunnels are now complete following breakthrough of TBM Ada into Farringdon Station box at the end of a 6.4km drive from Crossrail's most westerly portal at Royal Oak. For the BAM Nuttall/Ferrovial/Agroman/Kier JV this wraps up excavation under Contract C300 - sister machine TBM Phyllis, the first of eight Herrenknecht machines in total used on the project, completed her 17-month journey on 9 October last year (2013). "As with TBM Phyllis, Ada's 130 metre long trailer system will be removed from the tunnel via the Fisher Street shaft at Holborn. The rest of the machine will be buried below ground," a Crossrail spokesman told TunnelTalk. He added: "The other six machines being used for Crossrail will be recovered once they have completed their drives.
- "The now-completed western tunnels have been particularly challenging for engineers, involving successfully navigating a complex series of existing Tube lines, building foundation piles and infrastructure up to 30m beneath central London.
- "This included passing less than a metre above the operational Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road, and in total more than 72,000 precast concrete segments have been used for this section of tunnels."
Bombardier to supply Crossrail trains 6 Feb 2014
UK Government News Release
Andrew Mitchell leaves Crossrail
Andy Mitchell leaves Crossrail for Tideway - TunnelTalk Career Moves, January 2014
Crossrail rolling stock winner must prove UK benefit - TunnelTalk, March 2012
Crossrail launches first TBM for Thames crossing - TunnelTalk, January 2013
Crossrail nears excavation half-way landmark - TunnelTalk, September 2013
Dry approach to Connaught Tunnel repair - TunnelTalk, February 2012
Station awards on Crossrail - TunnelTalk, February 2013
Crossrail clean sweep for Herrenknecht - TunnelTalk, September 2011
Site visit: Herrenknecht begins Crossrail TBM rollout - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Site visit: Crossrail Stepney Green junction caverns - TunnelTalk, September 2012
Crossrail launches first TBM - TunnelTalk, May 2012
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