Tideway TBM parts lowered for assembly

30 July 2020

Greenwich pumping station recently saw the delivery of the tail can and cutterhead of the TBM that will excavate the 4.5km-long Greenwich Connection Tunnel which will link much of southeast London to the main Tideway ‘super sewer’ currently under construction.

Having left the factory in Germany, the machine was shipped up the River Rhine through Holland and into London via the River Thames. As the largest and heaviest parts of the TBM, they were then transported through Greenwich town centre to the site and lowered down the shaft where the TBM is being assembled.

The 6.5m diameter Herrenknecht mixshield TBM ('Annie') will excavate around 45m below ground from Greenwich to Chambers Wharf and segmentally line the tunnel which is located entirely in chalk.

The machine is one of six working on a Tideway project which has fully exploited its riverside location to achieve a more sustainable operation: much of the excavated spoil will be removed from site by barge, so taking thousands of trucks off the road. Each barge-full can carry the equivalent of 40-50 trucks.