Crossrail TBM started up with call for Crossrail Two

13 March 2012

Today Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening pushed the button to fire up the first Crossrail TBM.

Johnson hailed the Neo-Victorian level of investment that has flowed from the Olympics and tube upgrades. He added, “The sight of these mighty tunnelling machines […] these voracious predators of the Pleistocene clay of London will set forth on a journey that tens of millions of Londoners will follow on the trains that will hopefully be built by a British company… providing all necessary competitive guidelines are followed in the tender process. “The sight today of these mighty tunnelling machines primed for action is a significant step forward in the construction of this vital infrastructure project to add ten per cent to the London Underground capacity. We may also hope, in building a London that will be prosperous for many years to come, and while I have Madam Transport Secretary Greening here, can we trust that Crossrail Two will soon follow this first endeavour?” Greening made no reply to this but laughed nervously. Her statement was: “Crossrail will make a huge difference to generations of Londoners, reducing journey times, improving connectivity, supporting the economy and creating jobs. It’s exciting that we’ve reached this landmark for this world-class testament to our engineering excellence.” Johnson also criticised those who had attempted to stall Crossrail, attacking one minister’s choice of footwear and another’s choice of residence. A local schoolteacher told T&TI that they would like to introduce engineering as a career to their pupils as it is not a profession seriously considered by many. Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman announced, “The start of tunnelling is a hugely significant and symbolic milestone. Massive progress has been made since the start of Crossrail construction in May 2009 with work underway at nearly twenty sites along the route. Crossrail will bring significant economic and transport benefits to London and the south east with hundreds of British businesses now part of the Crossrail supply chain.” The two Herrenknecht TBMs were named Ada after the computer programming language and Byron’s daughter, and Phyllis after after Phyllis Pearsall who created the London A-Z street atlas. The Crossrail western tunnels will be excavated by the BAM Ferrovial Kier (BFK) JV.