The massive, two-storey high drilling machine digging the Crossrail tunnel in London has arrived at Liverpool Street station. Dramatic pictures show the moment it broke through.
Here was the scene right before the breakthrough:
And then the tunnel wall crumbles …
And the drill breaks through.
The machine, named “Elizabeth” (to honour the queen), is digging a tunnel between Canning Town and Farringdon Station, in the heart of the City.
The tunnel is about 8 kilometres long and is being excavated 40 metres below ground. There are now only 750 metres left to dig, and Crossrail expects that this last phase will take just a few weeks.
“We are on the final coundown,” said Andrew Wolstenhome, Crossrail CEO.
Another machine, named Victoria (after Queen Victoria), is also digging her way to Farringdon, where tunnels from the west of London have already arrived.
The twin machines each weigh 1,000 tonnes, are 150 metres long and over seven metres in diameter.
They are the last of eight Crossrail tunnel machines to have carved a route beneath London linking the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and southeast London.
Crossrail is a massive project for Transport for London (TfL), the public transport provider in the British capital.
The new rail line will run below London from east to west, boosting the network’s transportation capacity. Ten new stations are also being built in the project. One of them will be at Liverpool Street, below the current Tube station there.
Dubbed Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail will be completed in 2019. Here is a map of the whole project: