You’re a tunnel boring machine quietly boring your way under London, when suddenly you get a police escort!

Well, that happened to Crossrail recently, as one of their TBMs had to be taken from Stepney over to the Limmo Peninsula near Canning Town in East London.

The TBM, called Jessica had set off from Pudding Mill Lane, near Straford and tunnelled under East London to Stepney, where a vast underground cavern will hold a future railway junction.

Having dug a fairly short tunnel, the TBM is being dismantled and will be rebuilt at Limmo in order to dig more tunnels, this time heading eastwards towards the Excel exhibition centre.

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The key issue, is how do you transport a giant TBM from one place to the next?

By road, with a police escort.

Sadly, not the entire snaking structure was sent that way, as most of it can be dismantled and put in normal lorries, but the cutter head and main front support can’t, and were taken through the streets on Sunday morning by lorry, with a large police escort to keep the roads clear.

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It’s not often such a huge load passes though London, so for those who knew it would have been quite a sight.

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4 comments on “Crossrail TBM gets police escort through East London
  1. Ed says:

    …wonder if a series of docu’s will be made about this great engineering project?

  2. Josh says:

    So the components are now on location. When will it be launched?

  3. Ed says:

    I guess that means filming has already started? I not been paying much attention as don’t even remember where/when “ground was first broken” on the project. Perhaps, but I doubt it, they will have the “official opening” done by one of the many workers on the project. I think that be a nice touch. Too many of these grand projects have the usual “public figures” doing the honours. They can be listed instead as witness but have a person(s) who actually done something hands-on have the honour on-behalf of all those who worked on the project. Tad too progressive maybe…

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