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The final breakthrough

Crossrail completes tunnelling marathon at Farringdon, May 2015
Crossrail tunnelling machine Elizabeth breaks through into Farringdon May 2015_196754.jpg
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At approximately 8.3 km in length, Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon was the longest of the five Crossrail tunnel drives. Two giant tunnelling machines, Elizabeth and Victoria, were launched in 2012 to drive westbound to Farringdon via Canary Wharf, Stepney Green shaft, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street at depths of up to 40 metres deep.

Crossrail’s eastern tunnelling machines, named Elizabeth and Victoria, were launched from the Limmo Peninsula site near Canning Town towards in late 2012 to create 8.3km (5.16 miles) of tunnels from east London to Farringdon – Crossrail’s longest tunnel section.

It took just over three years to construct the tunnels, with Elizabeth and Victoria successfully breaking through into Farringdon station in May 2015.

Elizabeth arrived at Farringdon on 9 May 2015 and sister machine Victoria successfully broke into Farringdon Crossrail station on 23 May at 5.30am. Victoria then constructed the remaining section of Crossrail tunnel as she progressed into Farringdon station, completing the job and linking all Crossrail tunnels.

Crossrail tunnelling ended on 26 May 2015 when TBM Victoria completed her journey.

18 spectacular tunnelling breakthroughs

Crossrail’s tunnelling machines had a total of 18 breakthroughs when constructing the eastern tunnels (Docklands to Farringdon) and Thames Tunnel (Plumstead to North Woolwich) as follows:

Sophia at Woolwich – 15 May 2013 Elizabeth at Canary Wharf – 21 May 2013
Victoria at Canary Wharf – 11 June 2013 Mary at Woolwich – 4 September 2013
Elizabeth at Stepney Green – 6 November 2013 Elizabeth at Whitechapel – 20 January 2014
Sophia at North Woolwich – 29 January 2014 Victoria at Stepney Green – 30 January 2014
Jessica at Stepney Green – 3 February 2014 Victoria at Whitechapel – 4 April 2014
Mary at North Woolwich – 13 May 2014 Ellie at Stepney Green – 9 June 2014
Jessica at Victoria Dock Portal – 9 August 2014 Ellie at Victoria Dock Portal – 18 October 2014
Elizabeth at Liverpool Street – 29 January 2015 Victoria at Liverpool Street – 10 March 2015
Elizabeth at Farringdon – 9 May 2015 Victoria at Farringdon – 23 May 2015

 

TBM Sophia breaks through into Woolwich station box, May 2013_81166
TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Canary Wharf station box, May 2013_80891
TBM Victoria breaks through into Canary Wharf station, June 2013_90935
TBM Mary breaks through into Woolwich station box, September 2013_95693
TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Stepney Green cavern, November 2013_109907
TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Whitechapel station, January 2014_120760
TBM Victoria breaks through into Stepney Green cavern, January 2014_121677
TBM Sophia completes tunnel drive at North Woolwich portal, January 2014_127874
TBM Jessica breaks through into Stepney Green cavern, February 2014_123610
TBM Victoria breaks through into Whitechapel station, April 2014_134404
TBM Mary breaks through into North Woolwich Portal, May 2014_140803
TBM Ellie breaks through into Stepney Green cavern, June 2014_145020
TBM Jessica breaks through into Victoria Dock Portal, August 2014_153137
TBM Ellie breaks through in Victoria Dock Portal, October 2014_162551
TBM Elizabeth breaks through into Liverpool Street station, January 2015_175375
TBM Victoria breaks through into Liverpool Street station, March 2015_189725
Crossrail tunnelling machine Elizabeth breaks through into Farringdon, May 2015_196754
Crossrail tunnelling machine Victoria breaks through into Farringdon, May 2015_199321