Crossrail’s Phyllis marks tunnelling milestone

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Crossrail’s first tunnel boring machine, Phyllis, has reached a milestone after constructing her 1,000th tunnel ring.

A total of 12,000 concrete segments, manufactured at Old Oak Common, have now been used to construct the western tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon.

The first of eight Crossrail tunnelling machines, Phyllis, is currently tunnelling under Hyde Park after completing her 1,000th tunnel ring and has now constructed 1,800 metres of tunnel – over one mile – from Royal Oak via the Paddington station box.

Crossrail’s second tunnel boring machine (TBM), Ada, has travelled 800 metres and has entered the station box at Paddington.

At Tottenham Court Road, the base concrete slab has been installed for Crossrail’s western ticket hall at Dean Street. The contractor – Bam, Ferrovial, Kier (BFK) – is now preparing the site to begin construction of the mined tunnels that will connect the ticket hall to the station platforms. The spray concrete lining tunnel works will begin in early 2013.

The new western ticket hall at Bond Street will be five-storeys deep and is one of two new Crossrail ticket halls that will be constructed at Bond Street ahead of Crossrail services commencing in 2018.

Excavations of two shafts for the eastern ticket hall at Hanover Square were completed last month and work will soon begin on the station platform tunnels.

Diaphragm walls are continuing to be installed in Eastbourne Terrace to construct the outline of the Paddington station box before excavations start next spring.

Keith Sibley, Crossrail area director west, said: “Crossrail continues to make good progress in central London. Our first tunnel boring machine, Phyllis, is currently under Hyde Park and will arrive at Bond Street in early 2013.

“Construction of the new stations at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Paddington is advancing with the progress becoming increasingly visible. From 2018, 24 trains an hour will pass through these stations during peak hours bringing an extra 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of Paddington and the West End.”

Excavations have also started at the Fisher Street shaft at Holborn. The shaft will eventually provide future maintenance access to the Crossrail tunnels

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