In Pictures: Crossrail Tunnels, ELL Expands

48 comments

With Tunnelling now under way (or rather, in the west, resumed), Crossrail have released a new set of photos relating to the commencement of operations on the Limmo peninsular. We’ve looked extensively at the Royal Oak tunnelling portal before, but Limmo is a thoroughly different beast and the photos show just how true that is.

Unlike the western portal, the restricted access at Limmo meant that a shaft had to be constructed and the TBM parts lowered in for subsurface assembly. It makes for some impressive photos.

Lowering the TBMs in October

Lowering the TBMs in October

Looking up the shaft during the lowering

Looking up the shaft during the lowering

Looking down the Limmo shaft

Looking down the Limmo shaft

A better view of the TBMs side by side

A better view of the TBMs side by side

Preparing to launch

Preparing to launch

Inside the Portal

Inside the Portal

The TBM deployed

The TBM deployed

Meanwhile in the west the first TBM has now reached Hyde Park, having previously had to pause briefly due to the build up of spoil at Royal Oak Portal that occured after the conveyor belt was damaged. Investigations are currently underway into the causes and associated lessons to be attached to that particular incident, and we will report on these once more is known. This means that, overall, the western TBMs have now reached 1800m and 800m respectively.

Beyond the tunnels themselves, work also continues on the various station shafts and boxes. Canary Wharf is advancing at a furious pace, with Canary Wharf Group clearly keen to get the associated retail space open (and earning) as quickly as possible. Meanwhile at Tottenham Court Road, excavations for the the new Western Ticket Hall are complete, with construction of the mined tunnels that will connect the ticket hall to the station platforms due to begin early next year.

Closing the Loop

Clapham Junction, Overground Interchange

Clapham Junction, Overground Interchange

Back on the surface, the London Overground will finally close the last remaining gap in its orbital sweep this weekend with the opening of ELLX2, the final connection between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. We’ve looked at the work here before, but while important (and unlike Crossrail) it is not really a particularly “photo friendly” project – ultimately the infrastructure legacy is a short, but incredibly crucial, new piece of line closing out the loop. A pre-launch press trip, however, did provide an early opportunity to photograph a passenger-carrying 378 in the new stepped platform at Clapham Junction. You can find a good write up of the extension on IanVisits as well.

A 378 (technically the second in passenger service) in the new Clapham Junction platform

A 378 (technically the second in passenger service) in the new Clapham Junction platform

Soon to be a familiar sight, two 378s share the platform space

Soon to be a familiar sight, two 378s share the platform space

Written by John Bull