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Tunnel Boring Machine Charlotte on final leg of her journey

A giant tunnelling machine has begun the second part of its journey to Fulham to complete a vital connection tunnel to the super sewer beneath the River Thames.

Having already dug the 500m southern section of the Frogmore Connection Tunnel, from Dormay Street to King George’s Park, Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Charlotte has set off on her final 580 metre (approximately) drive to Carnwath Road riverside.

The machine, named after suffragist Charlotte Despard, is digging the connection tunnel as part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project to clean up the River Thames from sewage pollution.

Charlotte is three-metres-wide and more than 70 metres long, while the Frogmore Connection Tunnel is being created at a depth of around 30 metres. The TBM has been refurbished and previously worked on a water ring-main project in north London.

The giant machine became the first to break through the ground to complete a section of tunnel for London’s new super sewer in October. Charlotte was then hoisted out of the shaft, taken back to Dormay Street and placed back into the ground to tunnel north to Fulham.

Frogmore Connection Tunnel Project Manager Ciaran McQuaid said: “We are all very excited in getting Charlotte to launch again and away on her final journey on the Frogmore Connection Tunnel to Carnwath Road riverside. Hopefully there are many more tunnels in Charlotte’s future after all the hard work put into her refurbishment and modernisation.”

When completed, the 1.1km connection tunnel will take sewage overflows from King George’s Park into the main 25km super sewer at Fulham, where it will be transferred to east London for treatment instead of polluting the River Thames.

Charlotte breakthrough