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Contractors World International - 2015 Vol 6 No 3

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Milestone - Tunnelling Complete on Europe’s Largest Infrastructure Project - page 6 of 6

 

 

Crossrail tunnelling facts

5 twin-bore tunnel drives were undertaken to construct Crossrail’s tunnels, which are:

  • Royal Oak to Farringdon - length of drive approximately 6.8 km
  • Limmo to Farringdon - length of drive approximately 8.3 km
    Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green - length of drive approximately 2.7 km
  • Limmo to Victoria Dock Portal - length of drive approximately 0.9 km
  • Plumstead to North Woolwich - length of drive approximately 2.9 km

Names of Crossrail tunnelling machines

  • Phyllis – Phyllis Pearsall created the London A-Z
  • Ada – Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer
  • Victoria – named after Queen Victoria
  • Elizabeth – named after HM Queen Elizabeth II
  • Mary – Mary Brunel was the wife of the famous railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Sophia – Sophia Brunel was the wife of Marc Isambard Brunel who built the first tunnel under the Thames
  • Jessica - named after Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE
  • Ellie - named after Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds OBE

TBM Details

  • 6 Earth Pressure Balance Machines (EPB)
  • 2 Slurry Machines to cater for differing ground conditions
  • Diameter of Crossrail tunnels - 6.2 m
  • Cutter head diameter - 7.1 m
  • Typical progress rate of 100 m a week
  • Total length of each TBM - 148 m
  • Total weight - 980 tonnes
  • Cutter head rotation speed - up to 3.19 rotations per minute
  • Nominal thrust force - approximately 58,000 kN
  • On board welfare facilities include toilets and a kitchen
  • Surface control room monitored progress in real-time and use GPS
  • Ten hydraulic steering rams near the front of the machine steered the TBMs with millimetre precision of its designated alignment
  • A tunnel gang of 20 people worked with each TBM
  • Machines operated nearly 24 hours a day seven days a week
  • 42 km of new rail tunnels
  • 250,000 concrete segments line the tunnels
  • Concrete segments 1.6 m in width and weight 3.5 t each

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