Pictures: Crossrail release shots of underground work

14:11 28 February 2013

Workmen stand proudly by as the tunnel disappears into the distance. Picture: Crossrail

Workmen stand proudly by as the tunnel disappears into the distance. Picture: Crossrail

Crossrail

Crossrail have released more stunning images of London’s biggest infrastructure project in recent times.

A workman sits on an improvised bench at the farthest reaches of the existing tunnel system. Picture: CrossrailA workman sits on an improvised bench at the farthest reaches of the existing tunnel system. Picture: Crossrail

From a worker sat on a makeshift bench at the line’s ever-extending frontier, to action shots of industrial strength concrete sprayers, images released today illustrate the “marathon” rail project being undertaken beneath London’s streets.

Crossrail have now drilled more than 10 per cent of the 26-mile stretch of tunnel they have to complete in order to connect London’s east and west fringes.

Once finished the network will connect Maidenhead and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

These newly released images show the everyday (and every-night, with work ongoing 24 hours a day) subterranean activities of the workmen and machines involved.

Stepney Green shaft, large enough to hold 100 double decker buses. Picture: CrossrailStepney Green shaft, large enough to hold 100 double decker buses. Picture: Crossrail

One image neatly depicts the magnitude of the task, with nearly completed work being all you can see as the tunnel bends in the distance.

Another shows one of Europe’s largest underground caverns, the Stepney Green shaft, which is capacious enough to fit 100 double decker buses.

The project currently makes use of five tunnelling machines, all fondly named.

Phyllis and Ada are operating in west London, Elizabeth and Victoria in the east, and Sophia in Plumstead.

Dressed in protective clothing, a workman watches the application of the tunnel's concrete lining. Picture: CrossrailDressed in protective clothing, a workman watches the application of the tunnel's concrete lining. Picture: Crossrail

In one mammoth week, they managed to drill nearly half a kilometre of tunnel.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s chief executive, said: “With 26 miles of new tunnels to be built for Crossrail we are delivering our own London marathon beneath the streets of the capital.

“This is a huge and complex task with work underway 24 hours a day below London’s streets but our first few miles of tunnel are now completed.”

“These new underground images show the scale of transformation taking place beneath London and the essential new transport links being created with every metre of new tunnel built.”

Earlier this year aerial images showing the changing face of the city the line will eventually traverse were released too. Follow the link below to have a look.

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