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Final sections of Tunnel Boring Machine Annie arrive at Greenwich

The final sections of a giant machine that will dig a 4.5km tunnel through south-east London have been lowered underground.

The last parts of Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Annie recently arrived on site at Greenwich Pumping Station. These were the largest and heaviest pieces (the tail can and the cutterhead) and their transport through Greenwich Town Centre was the culmination of months of preparation. The sections have now been lowered down the shaft, where reassembly of the TBM continues.

Named after Annie Scott Dill Russell, the first female scientist to work at the Greenwich Observatory, the machine, one of six giant tunnelling machines being used on the Tideway project, was built in Germany, shipped up the Rhine and sailed to London from Holland.

As wide as a pair of London buses, this huge machine will create the ‘Greenwich Connection Tunnel’ – linking much of south-east London to the main super sewer tunnel beneath the Thames.

Once tunnelling is in full flow at Greenwich, much of the excavated material removed from the ground will be taken from site by barge – keeping thousands of lorries off the local roads.

Tideway is investing in new infrastructure in Deptford Creek to facilitate this river transport.