CROSSRAIL Maiden Crossrail TBM to launch next week Mar 2012
Crossrail News Release
Nearly four decades after the concept of a new cross-London rail route was first raised, the first of eight Herrenknecht TBMs on the UK capital's £14.5 billion Crossrail project has begun its final 400m journey into the launch pit ahead of next week's scheduled launch.
Transport Minister Greening and London Mayor Johnson

Transport Minister Greening and London Mayor Johnson

Phylis, named after the creator of the London A-Z, Phylis Pearsall, has been placed on a self-propelled mobile trailer and is now inching towards the portal at Royal Oak, from where it will start its 4-mile (6.4km) westward journey to Faringdon via the new station boxes at Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.
Final testing of the 7.1m diameter EPBM, which was set on its way at a ceremony attended by the UK's Minister of Transport Justine Greening and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson on Tuesday (March 13, 2012), is scheduled to take place in the coming days.
Crossrail confirmed that the second EPBM (to be called Ada) is due to be moved into position on April 14-15, and launched from the same Royal Oak portal once contractors are satisfied with the progress of the first machine.
A JV of BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier Construction (BFK) was awarded the £500 million western tunnels contract (Drive X) to construct the twin-running tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon in December 2010.
Later this year the Sisk/Dragados JV will launch a second pair of machines (Victoria and Elizabeth) from the Limmo portal in Docklands, driving 5.2 miles (8.3km) east towards Farringdon via new station boxes at Whitechapel and Liverpool Street (Drive Y).
The first TBM will arrive in the launch pit tomorrow (Friday)

The first TBM will arrive in the launch pit tomorrow (Friday)

In the winter of this year two slurry Mixshield machines (Mary and Sophia) will be launched from the Plumstead portal travelling 1.6 miles (2.6km) under the River Thames to North Woolwich.
Arrangements concerning the launch of the final two EPBMs that will complete the shorter tunnel drives in East London are still to be confirmed.
Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan said: "The start of tunnelling is a hugely significant and symbolic milestone. Massive progress has been made since the start of Crossrail construction in May 2009, with work under way at nearly twenty sites along the route."
Crossrail Chief Executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: "The first tunnel boring machine will shortly get under way on its journey from Royal Oak to Farringdon via Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road and will arrive at Farringdon in Autumn 2013. Further machines will be launched later in 2012 and beyond. The extent the tunnels to be built under London are on a scale not seen for many years. By late 2014, over 21km of twin-bore tunnel will have been constructed."
  • Schedule for the TBM west-running drives
  • Overall layout of all drives
  • Schedule for the TBM west-running drives (left) and overall layout of all drives (right)

Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, April 2011
Herrenknecht begins roll out of Crossrail orders - TunnelTalk, December 2011

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