A tunnelling construction plant producing concrete segments for 42km of Crossrail tunnels has officially opened in west London.
The first of 15 trainees and apprentices have started work at the Old Oak Common plant whcih is now fully operational. All of the intake have undergone pre-employment training at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA).
TUCA is aimed at helping the UK become a world leader in tunnelling construction and the prime minister David Cameron visited the site on Tuesday as part of national apprenticeship week.
“The new factory at Old Oak Common is a good example of Crossrail delivering new employment opportunities for unemployed people. These trainees and apprentices will gain new skills that provide the opportunity for a long-term career in the construction industry,” said Crossrail western tunnels project manager Andy Alder.
In total, 250,000 concrete segments will be needed for the Crossrail project. The west London site will be producing segments for the western tunnels. A facility is due to open in the next few months in Chatham, Kent, that will produce segments for the eastern tunnels.
Tunnelling work on Crossrail is due to start next month and the first tunnel boring machine is currently being assembled at Westbourne Park.