Crossrail Awards Tunnelling Contracts


Crossrail have confirmed that they have awarded two of the main tunnelling contracts for the Line.

The contracts in question are C300, which covers the western running tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon, and C305, which covers the eastern running tunnel sections of Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon, Limmo Peninsula to Victoria Dock and Stepney Green to Pudding Mill Lane. C300 has been awarded to a Joint Venture of BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd and Kier Construction Ltd. C305 has been awarded to a Dragados S.A. and John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd Joint Venture.

As can be seen from the diagram below, this represents a considerable chunk of the tunnelling work. If all goes to plan, the first two (of the seven expected) Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be delivered towards the back-end of next year and tunnelling proper will start in 2012. These TBMs will work the Royal Oak (from the portal there) to Farringdon stretch.

Also announced today were C410 (Early Access Shafts and Sprayed Concrete Lining Works for Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations tunnels) and C510 (Early Access Shafts & Sprayed Concrete Lining Works for Whitechapel and Liverpool Street stations tunnels). C410 went to the same Joint Venture as C300, whilst C510 went to a Joint Venture consisting of Alpine BeMo Tunnelling GmbH, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd, Morgan Sindall (Infrastructure) plc and VINCI Construction Grands Projects.

[Hopefully without risk of jinxing this project, in terms of scale this project has shades of the  “Big Dig.” The original “Big Dig” was, of course, in Boston and now forms a key feature in many civil engineering project management courses as a case study in being over time and over budget, As such it occupies a couple of feet of shelf space in the library at Chateau Mwmbwls. Suitably benchmarked we shall be following Crossrail with interest. For those readers for whom this is too much detail, can I recommend Linda Barnes book “Big Dig” featuring PI Carlotta Carlyle as a little light relief. – MWB]

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.