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Crossrail eastern running tunnels launch shafts near completion

Crossrail workers have reached the temporary bottom of the two huge launch shafts in east London where tunnel boring machines will be lowered into ahead of tunnelling commencing.

The larger of the two shafts is 30m in diameter and will be 44m deep when completed. Construction has now commenced on two mined tunnels that will connect the two shafts.

Assembly of Crossrail’s third tunnel boring machine (TBM), Elizabeth, is now well underway. The large blue cutterhead was installed earlier this week with the TBM now visible from the Docklands Light Railway. During the coming months, the 150m long machine will be fully assembled and tested before being lowered in sections into the two shafts.

Crossrail’s eastern tunnels will run for 8.3km from Docklands to Farringdon where they will join with the western tunnels from Paddington.

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