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Crossrail ramps up tunnelling work as second machine breaks ground

A second Crossrail tunnel boring machine has broken ground today after the first successfully reached Paddington, having travelled 750 metres from Royal Oak.

The second TBM, named Ada, has broken ground at Royal Oak Portal and commenced tunnelling towards Paddington having navigated under London Underground’s Hammersmith & City line and the Great Western Main Line.

Onece it has made sufficient progress, the first TBM, Phyllis, will move forward through the Paddington station box onwards to Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and then Farringdon.

Tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon will be completed in late 2013. It is being completed by a BFK joint venture of Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) and Kier Construction.

More than 12,000 segments have now been produced at the Old Oak Common concrete segment plant for the western tunnels. A total of 3,680 segments have been used to construct the western tunnels to-date.

Meanwhile a total of 66,000 tonnes of excavated material has been transported to Northfleet so far, from where it will be shipped to Wallasea Island in Essex to create a nature reserve.

Crossrail awarded a £50m contract to a Bam Nuttall/Van Oord UK joint venture to ship the excavated material to the new nature reserve in December.

A further two tunnel boring machines, Elizabeth and Victoria, are currently being assembled for the eastern tunnels between Docklands and Farringdon. Tunnelling is due to commence at Limmo Peninsula this winter and will be carried out by a joint venture of Dragados S.A. and John Sisk & Son.

A fifth TBM, Sophia has recently completed factory testing. Early next year Sophia will begin constructing the 2.6km Thames Tunnel between Plumstead and North Woolwich.

Crossrail's first tunnel boring machine breaks ground at Royal Oak, May 2012

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