The complicated rehabilitation of London’s Victorian-era Connaught Tunnel for the Crossrail project has been completed.
Built in 1878, the Connaught Tunnel – the only existing tunnel to be used as part of the Crossrail route – sits on the North Woolwich branch of the North London Line, which closed in 2006.
Structural works to ” deepen, strengthen and widen” the 550-metre tunnel have now been completed by Crossrail engineers. Installation of the track infrastructure and S&T system will begin next year.
Around 13 million litres of water had to be drained from the Royal Docks, which sit above the Connaught Tunnel, to allow access from above.
Thick layers of soot caused had to be cleaned off during the renovation. Armoured vehicles also had to be brought in to survey the project site for unexploded WWII bombs.
Linda Miller, Connaught Tunnel project manager said: “It’s great to know that, thanks to our work, this 135 year old tunnel will once again have a vital role to play in London’s transport network.
“Once Crossrail opens in 2018, up to 12 trains an hour will pass through the tunnel beneath the Royal Docks, hugely improving links between southeast London and the rest of the capital.”