Crossrail workers tunnel under City
Workers on the £14.8bn Crossrail project have made their latest breakthrough by tunnelling under the City of London.
The project's 1,000-tonne tunnel machine, named Elizabeth after the Queen, broke into the eastern end of Liverpool Street Crossrail station - 40 metres below the financial district.
Elizabeth now has 750m to bore to reach the end of the line as part of Crossrail's longest tunnelling drive of 8.3km from Limmo Peninsula, near Canning Town, to Farringdon and is expected to be finished in the spring.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail's chief executive, said: "We are now on the final countdown to the big east/west breakthrough at Farringdon, which will link all of Crossrail's tunnels for the first time.
"This is a phenomenal feat of civil engineering that London can be justifiably proud of. The next challenge is to implement railway systems across the route, keeping the project on time and within budget."
Upon the breakthrough, a worker poked his head through the narrow gap and waved to colleagues in celebration.
So far more than 60% of the overall work has been completed for the project which will see, by 2018, high-speed trains running from as far west as Reading in Berkshire, through central London to Abbey Wood in south London and as far east as Shenfield in Essex.
A sister machine, named Victoria, will reach Farringdon several weeks after Elizabeth.