Crossrail’s tunnel boring machine (TBM) Elizabeth has been lowered 40 metres underground ahead of construction work on the project’s longest section between Canning Town and Farringdon.
The 550 tonne TBM was lowered into the shaft at the eastern tunnels launch site yesterday (October 26).
Elizabeth will start tunnelling later this year, travelling under the River Lea towards Canary Wharf.
The team at Limmo Peninsula, adjacent to Canning Town station, will shortly repeat the operation with sister machine Victoria.
Both tunnelling machines will receive maintenance while in the large station box, before continuing their journeys toward Whitechapel, Liverpool Street and Farringdon.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The transformational force of Crossrail is now coming ever nearer to central London.
“With every twist of these giant boring machines we are unleashing the huge economic opportunities stemming from this ambitious infrastructure project. Furthermore, the construction of Crossrail’s eastern section is demonstrating London’s world-class engineering expertise and providing thousands of technical training and job opportunities.”
Works are also being completed on the River Lea to construct a jetty to berth ships that will take 1.2 million tonnes of earth to Wallasea Island to create a new RSPB nature reserve.