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Tunnel completion for Crossrail’s north east branch

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Ellie has finished the last tunnel in the Crossrail north east network by breaking into a cavern beneath Stepney Green, in the east of London.

Ellie has spent just over three months making the 2.7km journey, travelling as much as 72m in a 24 hour period, and the breakthrough mark structural completion of the tunnels between Whitechapel and Pudding Mill Lane.

In the coming weeks 1,000t TBM will be lifted out of the cavern, 40m beneath Stepney Green, and taken by road to Limmo Peninsula at Canning Town, where it will be re-assembled to tunnel towards Victoria Dock Portal.

Joint Venture Dragados Sisk is constructing the eastern tunnels between Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney Green, Limmo Peninsula and Farringdon, and Victoria Dock Portal and Limmo.

Ellie’s sister machine Jessica started excavating the shortest tunnel drive on the project earlier this month, forming part of the south east spur of London’s new rail line.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: “Our tunnel teams deserve congratulations for an impressive feat of engineering. Construction of the new rail tunnels for Europe’s largest infrastructure project is now over 80% complete. Crossrail continues to be delivered on time and on budget.”

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