TV series celebrates Crossrail achievement 9 July 2014
TunnelTalk reporting
A major new TV documentary series covering two years of underground construction on the Crossrail mega-project in London further confirms the move into the media mainstream for the international tunnelling industry.

TV trailer for three part Crossrail documentary series

The BBC Television programme - The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway - airs the first of three parts on Wednesday (July 16).
The documentary comes as TBM tunnelling on Europe’s largest construction project reaches 82% completion. Peter MacLennan for Crossrail told TunnelTalk: “TBM tunnelling has now reached 35.58km completion of the 42km total.” Only three of the project’s eight Herrenknecht machines are still in the ground, one of these having just relaunched on its second heading - the short 900m drive linking Limmo and the Victoria Dock portal. Another machine is currently being dismantled ahead of transportation back to the Limmo shaft for completion of the 900m parallel drive - the final TBM heading on the whole project.
Over a two-year period Crossrail provided extensive jobsite and underground access to a BBC camera team who spent time with tunnelling crews and engineers as construction of London’s new 21km-long east-west underground link progressed.
The first episode, “Urban Heart Surgery”, follows workers as they drive TBM Ada through Tottenham Court Road station within 800mm of the operating Northern Line. The parallel drives, completed by the BFK JV, were the longest on the whole project (8.3km).
Canary Wharf Station completed last month

Canary Wharf Station completed last month

Episode Two, “Tunnels Under the Thames”, follows a father and son team as they work on the TBM drives under the Thames for the Hochtief/Murphy JV. The first TBM broke through at Woolwich on January 29 this year (2014), with the parallel tunnel completed on 13 May. The cameras also follow Project Manager Linda Miller and her team as they complete the complex restoration of the Victorian Connaught Tunnel under the Royal Docks, an operation covered in detail by TunnelTalk last year.
The final episode, “Platforms and Plague Pits”, tracks the team as they construct the impressive new station at Canary Wharf, which is designed to look like a futuristic train. Only last month (June 2014), the placement of the final aluminium piece on the striking timber lattice roof completed the station at the end of a four-year construction period. The cameras also join engineers as they carve out the underground caverns that will become the new stations at Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.
Western tunnels and stations Project Manager Andy Alder, who features throughout, said: “We think our work is pretty exciting. This documentary is a chance for the public to come into our subterranean world and see how we build these tunnels and underground structures, while preserving London’s archaeological history and keeping ground movement on the surface to an absolute minimum, making sure all the time that the London above keeps moving.”
Tunnelling moves into the mainstreamTunnelTalk, July 2014
Dry approach to Connaught Tunnel repairTunnelTalk, February 2012
Crossrail nears excavation half-way landmarkTunnelTalk, September 2013
Five breakthroughs in 14 days for CrossrailTunnelTalk, February 2014
SCL to create Crossrail junction cavernsTunnelTalk, September 2012

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