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The Gallery | Crossrail celebrates first Stepney Green tunnelling breakthrough

Construction of the first phase in the longest tunnel drive on Crossrail has been completed with the tunnel boring machine (TBM) breaking through into the Stepney Green box in east London.

The TBM, named Elizabeth, was launched from the Limmo Peninsula at the end of 2012 and will now undergo maintenance before being relaunched to complete the 8.3km drive to Farringdon.

The Stepney Green box is currently one of Europe’s largest mined caverns and will soon be receiving the second of four TBMs to breakthrough at the site when Elizabeth’s sister machine Victoria arrives at the site in a few weeks. The spray concrete lined cavern measures 50m long, 17m wide and 15m high and will house the junction for rail lines serving the north Kent and Essex branches of Crossrail.

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