In Pictures: Crossrail’s TBMs at Westbourne Park

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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

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

TBMs through the trees

The TBMs from the front

The TBMs from the front

The TBMs from the rear

The TBMs from the rear

The cutter head close up

The cutter head close up

Both TBMs now have their cutter heads in place

Both TBMs now have their cutter heads in place

Sadly the paint-job has already taken a bit of a beating

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

Work continues to fit out the TBMs. Pictured here is a conveyor section

Brushes have now been added to the rear of the wall laying 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

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

The narrow gauge railway that’ll help bring tunnel wall segments forward

Looking away from the tunnel head

Looking away from the portal

Looking down the portal

Looking down the portal

The metal frame allows the spoil conveyors to be cleaned and played back

The metal frame allows the spoil conveyors to be cleaned and played back

Work has begun to remove the concrete from the tunnelling eyes

Work has begun to remove the concrete from the tunnelling eyes

Written by John Bull