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First tunnelling machine reaches 100-metre mark in Battersea

First tunnelling machine reaches 100-metre mark in Battersea

Millicent, Tideway’s first tunnel boring machine (TBM) to begin work, is more than 100 metres into her journey from Kirtling Street in Battersea to Carnwath Road Riverside in Fulham.

At the time of writing, the team was preparing a scheduled stop to allow the remainder of what is known as the ‘umbili­cal launch’.

The TBM is more than 100 metres long and formed of a number of gantries – which all need to be connected for tunnelling.

However, there is not enough space to assemble to full TBM at the bottom of the shaft, meaning some gantries are deep underground and some are on ground level, connected via cables and wires – hence ‘umbilical launch’.

When the TBM has moved forward and created enough space behind, the rear gantries are lowered down the shaft one by one and added.

Once all the gantries are connected and the entire TBM is assembled, she will begin making swift progress toward Carnwath Road.

The spoil from the tunnelling work is being removed from site by barge, keeping thousands of lorries of London’s road.