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Crossrail’s Olympic tunnelling stars start their race below London

Crossrail’s seventh tunnel boring machine (TBM), which is named Jessica after Olympic god medal winner Jessica Ennis, has been launched from Pudding Mill Lane towards Stepney Green.

The earth pressure balance Herrenknecht TBM will drive a 2.7km tunnel and work on a parallel will be start soon when a second TBM, named Ellie after Paralympic gold medal winner Ellie Simmonds, is launched.

Work on driving the tunnels between Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney Green is expected to be completed in autumn next year.

When work is completed on the drive to Stepney Green both TBMs will be moved to Limmo and be used to drive the 900m long tunnels to Victoria Dock Portal with the TBMs expected to be launched next autumn and the drives completed by the end of 2014.

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