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Tunnel Boring Machine Rachel hits three kilometre mark

Rachel, the tunnel boring machine (TBM) digging the west section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, has passed the 3km mark on her 7km journey from Fulham to Acton.

The TBM is tunnelling between the Carnwath Road Riverside site and Acton Storm Tanks and once complete, this section of the tunnel will mark the ‘start’ and shallowest part of London’s new super sewer.

The super sewer is currently under construction deep beneath the Thames to prevent millions of tonnes of sewage pollution entering the river each year.

Four giant machines are being used to create the main tunnel, with three currently underway across the capital. Tunnel Boring Machine Millicent completed her 5km drive from Kirtling Street, Battersea to Carnwath Road towards the end of last year.   

Two other slightly smaller machines are being used to create connections into the main tunnel, one from Greenwich and another from Wandsworth.  

Each machine was named after an inspirational woman from history with ties to the local area, with Rachel named after Rachel Parsons – the founding president of the Women's Engineering Society and a former Fulham resident.