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Power Tunnels reach new milestone

The second London Power Tunnel tunnel boring machine (TBM) is set to be lowered into the Willesden launch shaft tomorrow (Friday), main contractor Costain revealed.

Speaking at the Tunnelling conference in London today, Costain operations director Stephen Meadowcroft said the Lovat TBM for the 3m internal diameter tunnels arrived on site on Tuesday.

“The machine will be used to drive the 7.05km tunnel from Willesden towards St Johns Wood before carrying out three other drives on the project,” he said.

The tunnel drives form part of 33km of new tunnels being constructed for National Grid to carry new power cables for the London network. The other TBM working on the project – a Herrenknecht earth pressure balance TBM – was launched from Eade Road in Harringey in September this year.

“The Lovat machine will be used with a wedge block lining on the first three sections of drive but it currently to be converted to an earth pressure balance machine for the final Wandsworth to Kensal Green bore. We are currently trying to find a solution that would allow us to use the wedge block approach on this section though.”

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