More than 38km of new train tunnels under the UK capital, London, are now complete, says Crossrail, developer of Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
That means the ambitious scheme is now 60% complete, Crossrail says.
When finished in 2018, the new Crossrail line will run 100km underground and overground to knit together the far east and west of the sprawling city.
Crossrail says it will transform public transport in London, increasing rail capacity by 10% and bringing an extra 1.5 million souls to within 45 minutes of the city centre.
Crossrail celebrated the 60% milestone by releasing photographs of the subterranean world it is creating – offering the chance to see the awesome underground cavities before they are rigged out with steel, concrete, ducts and cables.
Platform tunnels at the new Crossrail Bond Street station
From 2018, 220,000 passengers are expected to use Bond Street London Underground and Crossrail station every day
With tunnelling due to finish in spring 2015, six of Crossrail’s eight tunnelling machines have now completed their drives.
With the light now visible at the end of the tunnelling tunnel, the project’s focus will shift to the substantial job of fitting out the stations and tunnels, Crossrail says.
The construction of ten new stations in central and southeast London is more than half complete.
"Crossrail is being delivered on time and on budget," said Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive. "These fantastic images show the scale of work taking place around the clock beneath the streets of London."
More than 10,000 people are working directly on Crossrail at around 40 construction sites, says Crossrail.
Over the course of the project, the company believes the project will have created the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the UK.
More than 7,000 people have completed training at Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which opened in 2011.
â€¢ Photographs courtesy of Crossrail. See more here.
Tunnelling machine ‘Elizabeth’ at Whitechapel station. The 150 metre long, thousand tonne machine is one of eight used on Crossrail. With almost 90% of tunnelling complete, Elizabeth is one of just two machines still operational
Train tunnel at Paddington. The new Crossrail station is being built directly next to Brunel’s Grade I listed Paddington mainline station. Once complete, the station will be 250 metres long and 30 metres wide and will cater for 70,000 passengers a day