Crossrail, Europe’s largest railway and infrastructure construction project, reached another landmark when a tunnel boring machine broke through into East London.
The breakthrough into Whitechapel by boring machine Victoria marked the completion of 75 per cent of the tunneling work on the £15bn project.
The 73 mile line aims to provide a commuter/suburban passenger service, with the station at Whitechapel linking directly to the West End and Canary Wharf.
Since work began in 2009, 32km of tunnelling has been carried out with more than 2.5 million tonnes of earth removed.
Work is now continuing more than 100ft underground as engineers are building platforms and passenger tunnels for the new station.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We’re tantalisingly close to finishing what is without doubt a monumental feat of engineering. It’s quite remarkable what the Crossrail team has achieved so far and we now look forward to the next exciting stage of the project – the fitting out of the Crossrail stations of the future.”
The new railway link, which is due to be completed by 2018, will reduce cross-London journey times with 40 stations linking Berkshire to Essex via central London. It will operate as a London Rail concession of Transport for London, similar to the London Overground.