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Watch: Crossrail TBM Ellie breaks through into Victoria Dock

Crossrail’s train tunnels in Docklands and South-east London are now structurally complete, following the breakthrough by tunnel boring machine Ellie at Victoria Dock Portal in East London.

Ellie completes one of the shortest but most complex drives on the Crossrail project, tunnelling 900 m from Limmo Peninsula, near Canning Town, to Victoria Dock Portal.

Ellie successfully navigated the Docklands Light Railway, Jubilee line and utilities, all in close proximity to the River Thames and River Lea. She completes a set of Crossrail tunnels in East and South-east London that stretch from Plumstead to Whitechapel, with an additional spur between Stepney Green and Stratford.

Ellie had already completed a 2.7 km stretch from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green before undertaking this drive. She will now be dismantled and returned to manufacturer Herrenknecht, with the parts recycled for future projects.

Crossrail programme director Simon Wright said: “The end is in sight for Crossrail’s tunnelling marathon.

“Having successfully delivered all bored tunnels west of Farringdon and east of Whitechapel, we now begin the final push to complete tunnelling at Farringdon next year. The next challenge is to fit out the tunnels and stations with systems to run Crossrail trains through central London in 2018.”

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