We last saw Crossrail’s Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) in Germany last year, where the first of the eight TBMs were being assembled. Overall Crossrail will need six Earth Pressure Balanced Machines (EPBs) and two Slurry TBMs and the first of the EPBs are now in situ at New Paddington Yard. In the middle of March they will be moved forward to the tunnel head at Royal Oak Portal and begin driving the first of Crossrail’s new twin bores.
A TBM In The Snow earlier this month, courtesy dmncf
Today was thus one of the last opportunities to see the TBMs (and their surrounding work site) before they begin their journey beneath London.
TBMs through the trees
The TBMs from the front
The TBMs from the rear
The cutter head close up
Both TBMs now have their cutter heads in place
Sadly the paint-job has already taken a bit of a beating
Work continues to fit out the TBMs. Pictured here is a conveyor section
Brushes (to help seal against the grout as its injected and any ground water) have now been added to the rear of the wall laying section
The view beneath a TBM
Elsewhere on the site, work has begun to prepare for the TBM launch when both machines will be jacked up, placed on wheels and moved forward to begin tunneling.
The narrow gauge railway that’ll help bring tunnel wall segments forward
Looking away from the portal
Looking down the portal
The metal frame allows the spoil conveyors to be cleaned and played back
Work has begun to remove the concrete from the tunnelling eyes