Excavation of Crossrail’s running tunnels is now 80% complete following the launch this week of tunnel boring machine Jessica from the Limmo Peninsula in east London.
The machine - named after Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill - has started excavating the shortest tunnel drive on the project, from the peninsula beside Canning Town station towards Victoria Dock Portal.
Jessica will create the 900m tunnel forming part of the south east spur of London’s new rail line. The tunnel begins from a 35m deep access shaft alongside the mouth of the River Lea, and will run to Victoria Dock Portal, where the Crossrail tracks reach the surface at Custom House station.
Jessica’s sister machine Ellie - named after Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds - will create the parallel running tunnel from Limmo Peninsula to Victoria Dock Portal later this year.