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VIDEO: Crossrail tunnelling completed

Using eight tunnel boring machines and tunnelling beneath London’s centuries-old utility infrastructure, Bechtel and Crossrail have completed tunnelling work on the £15 billion east-west railway.

One of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe, Crossrail deployed eight TBMs which bored 42 km of tunnels, completing the mammoth task on schedule in just three years.

Bechtel was hired in 2009 as Crossrail Limited’s delivery partner as part of an integrated team to program manage the delivery of the new railway line through central London.

Ailie MacAdam, Bechtel’s Managing Director for Infrastructure, Europe and Africa, said one of the biggest challenges on the project was tunnelling beneath centuries of tightly-woven infrastructure.

“Huge TBMs have been moving through ground that’s honeycombed with networks of sewer lines, water and gas mains, foundations of buildings, and even some London Underground tunnels dating to the 1860s,” she said.

Watch a drone fly through the completed Crossrail tunnels

With the project 65 per cent complete, Bechtel will now focus on the integration and completion of rail and station systems in advance of testing which will commence in 2017.

The first Crossrail services through central London will start in late 2018, with an estimated 200 million annual passengers will use Crossrail.

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