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Underground news

The first of three Lovat tunnel boring machines is now in the ground, undergoing final checks before starting the drive for the 'the London connection', National Grid's new power cable tunnel in London. The 3m internal diameter tunnel will carry a power line from Elstree to St John's Wood (NCE 31 May).

Christened 'Doris', the 60m long TBM will be deployed on the central Edgware to Cricklewood section. Contractor Murphy says it will be able to excavate and line 50m of tunnel per day.

Two sister machines, Helen and Caroline, will soon begin work from different start points.

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