The first Crossrail tunnel has now been completed. The 4.2 mile passage starts from Royal Oak in west London, extending to Farringdon Station in central London. The tunnelling work was created by boring machine - nicknamed Phyllis after Phyllis Pearsall who conceived and produced the original A-Z Street Map of London - which was launched in May 2012.
Phyllis’s sister machine, Ada, is currently busy at work in the Holborn area and expected to finish tunnelling this winter. Six other sibling machines are due to finish next year and a final boring machine, named Ellie, will launch also this winter.
Crossrail Programme Director, Andy Mitchell, said: “Crossrail’s construction continues to move ahead at a significant pace. Crossrail has not only completed the first Crossrail tunnel under London but has reached the half-way point for our tunnelling machines with a phenomenal 13 miles of tunnels constructed to-date. A further six tunnelling machines are currently hard at work constructing over 100 metres of new tunnel each day with major tunnelling due to complete next year.”
One of the most significant infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK, Crossrail is set to change how people travel into and around the capital. The network will eventually comprise of 26 miles of new tunnels underneath London, delivered by ten different tunnels.
The project is estimated at £15bn and, once completed, Crossrail is expected to increase the capital’s rail capacity by 10%, reduce crowding and deliver faster journey times to those on the transport network. It will connect the Great Eastern mainline, Great Western mainline and North Kent mainline with central London.
Crossrail services are due to commence in 2018.