CROSSRAIL Crossrail launches first TBM May 2012
Crossrail News Release
After years of geotechnical investigations, planning, surviving government austerity cuts, and a lengthy procurement phase, tunnelling has finally started on London's £14.5 billion Crossrail project with the launch of the first of two 7.1m diameter TBMs from the Royal Oak portal in London.
Pic 1

TBM Phyllis launches from Royal Oak

TBM Phyllis is expected to record an average rate of around 100m a week over the course of its 4-mile (6.4km) drive to Faringdon via the station boxes at Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.
A second TBM, Ada, will be launched from the same Royal Oak portal to bore the parallel tunnel once the first machine has progressed sufficiently.
Work has been under way to install the major conveyor system behind the TBM to remove more than one million tonnes of excavated material. A total of 24km of conveyer belt will be used to construct the western tunnels.
Rail sidings have been constructed to allow freight trains to access Westbourne Park to transport the excavated material to Northfleet, from where it will be shipped to Wallasea Island to create a nature reserve.
Meanwhile, at the Old Oak Common concrete segment plant, over 8,000 segments have now been produced and stockpiled for the western tunnels. The tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon will be completed in late 2013.
A JV of BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier Construction (BFK) was awarded the £500 million western tunnels contract (Drive X) to construct the twin-running tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon in December 2010.
  • Conveyor in place ready for excavation

    Conveyor in place ready for excavation

  • Monitoring progress

Later this year the Sisk/Dragados JV will launch a second pair of machines (Victoria and Elizabeth) from the Limmo portal in Docklands, driving 5.2 miles (8.3km) east towards Farringdon via new station boxes at Whitechapel and Liverpool Street (Drive Y).
In the winter of this year two slurry Mixshield machines (Mary and Sophia) will be launched from the Plumstead portal travelling 1.6 miles (2.6km) under the River Thames to North Woolwich. Arrangements concerning the launch of the final two EPBMs that will complete the shorter tunnel drives in east London are still to be confirmed.
Eight Herrenknecht TBMs will be used to construct 13 miles (21km) of Crossrail's twin running tunnels running between Royal Oak in west London and Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead in east London.
  • Schedule for the TBM west-running drives
  • Overall layout of all drives
  • Schedule for the TBM west-running drives (left) and overall layout of all drives (right)

Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, April 2011
Crossrail contract awarded tally climbs - TunnelTalk, April 2011
Herrenknecht begins roll out of Crossrail orders - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Crossrail awards tunnelling contracts - TunnelTalk, December 2010
Preparing the ground for Crossrail - TunnelTalk, August 2010
Crossrail moves ahead with enabling works - TunnelTalk, March 2010
Monitoring contract for Crossrail - TunnelTalk, June 2010

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