1,000 tonne tunnelling beast launched for Crossrail link Abbey Wood to central London
A 1,000 TONNE tunnelling beast which will help shorten journey times for Abbey Wood commuters into central London has been launched.
The 110-metre-long tunnel boring machine ‘Sophia’ began her journey under the Thames as part of Crossrail’s £16billion rail project today.
Abbey Wood passengers can expect to shave 20 minutes off journey times to Bond Street and 40 minutes off travelling to Heathrow when the route opens in 2018.
Sophia - drilling an average of 100 metres a week under the river bed - has begun her maiden voyage from Plumstead to North Woolwich.
Crossrail’s chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: "The start of tunnelling in south-east London marks another milestone for Crossrail, a project that will transform public transport in and around the capital.
"The benefits for south-east London are huge.
"For the first time people living between Abbey Wood and the Royal Docks will be able to travel right through the centre of the capital without having to change trains, bringing Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow closer than ever before."