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BREAKOUT

Transport secretary Alistair Darling this week welcomed the first Channel Tunnel Rail Link tunnel boring machine (TBM) to emerge at the St Pancras end of the project. The milestone marked the end of the 1,100t Kawasaki TBM's 17 month, 7.5km journey from Stratford in east London to just north of the main station at St Pancras. The breakthrough on Contract 220 was accompanied by an announcement that tunnelling contractor NishimatsuCementation-Skanska JV had completed 1M man hours without a reportable accident. This tunnel will take the CTRL onto the bridge that was installed over the East Coast Main Line during Christmas by Contract 103 (NCE 11 December 2003).

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