Tunneling Beneath London, by Crossrail

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: May 2014
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The largest infrastructure project in Europe, London’s Crossrail project, is digging 21 kilometers (about 13 miles) of twin-bore tunnels beneath the city’s busy streets with seven massive tunneling machines and 10,000 people working at more than 40 building sites. Tunneling is now three-quarters complete, following one tunnel’s early April breakthrough into Whitechapel Station. Work began in 2009; the £14.8 billion (about $24.9 billion) project is slated for completion in late 2018.

Crossrail will deliver new heavy-duty suburban rail service for London and the southeast of England. It will connect the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of the capital, providing easier, quicker and more direct travel opportunities via the new railway lines and tunnels. Trains will be 200 meters (656 feet) long and will be able to carry 1,500 people each, almost twice as many as current London Underground trains.

The project is expected to support the delivery of more than 3.25 million square meters (about 35 million square feet) of commercial space. The value of office space around Crossrail stations in central London is expected to increase by up to 10 percent over the next decade.