Two more tunnel boring machines digging HS2 railway tunnels under London will set off early next year, and the public is being asked to name them from a shortlist.

One of the giant TBMs for the Northolt Tunnel East in the Herrenknecht factory (c) HS2

The two latest HS2 TBMs will construct the Northolt Tunnel East travelling through Brent and Ealing. The TBMs will set off early in 2024 towards Greenford, travelling 3.4 miles from HS2’s Victoria Road site, close to the new Old Oak Common station.

In line with tunnelling tradition, tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are given female names, and usually after local or significant figures. HS2 is asking the public to vote for two names from a shortlist of five with connections to Ealing.

The names on the shortlist are:

Amy Barbour-James (1906 -1988) – Amy was born in Acton to Guyanese parents and was active in the civil rights movement. She was involved in the African Progress Unionand the League of Coloured Peoples, becoming secretary of the latter in 1942.

Lady Anne Byron (1792 – 1860) – Lady Byron was an educational reformer and philanthropist. In 1834 she established the Ealing Grove School – the first school for the working classes, in an era when education was mainly for the wealthy.

Brigid Brophy (1929 – 1995) – Ealing born Brigid was a British writer and campaigner whose work focused on social reform, homosexual parity, animal rights and humanism. She helped establish the Public Lending Right, allowing authors to claim a payment every time their book was borrowed from a public library.

Emily Sophia Taylor (1872 – 1956) – Emily was a midwife, providing services for women who could not afford care, and became Ealing’s first female mayor in 1938. She was an active member of the Education Committee and the Child Welfare Committee and helped establish the Perivale Maternity Hospital in 1937.

Susan Mary Smee (1859 – 1949) – Susan became Acton’s first female mayor in 1924, the first Justice of Peace and the first curator of Gunnersbury Park Museum. She is described as a pioneer who helped other women to follow her example.

The selected names will be displayed on the side of the TBMs which are to be lowered into a shaft ready to tunnel in the Autumn. Before launch, there will be a ceremony to bless the TBMs featuring a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnelling, conducted by a local priest.

Voting closes on Monday 4th September 2023 and you can submit your votes here.

Speaking about the naming, HS2’s Head of Community Engagement, Maddelyn Sutton, said: “As HS2 construction begins to reach its peak, we are preparing to launch our next duo of tunnel boring machines in London. Giving the TBMs names with local connections is a great way for us to celebrate the achievements of women and for the local community to get involved in this once in a generation infrastructure project.”

The tunnel they are building will be 8.4miles in total, stretching from Old Oak Common station to West Ruislip. The other 5 miles of the tunnel are under construction with two further TBMs, Sushila and Caroline, already one mile into their journey.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Qwerty says:

    Moley McMole-Face

  2. Tunnel McTunnelface says:

    The form allows you and asks you to submit additional responses (allowing you to vote twice).

    I’m aware this may not be the best way to notify them of the error, but I couldn’t find anywhere else.

  3. Yo says:

    Succulent sausage

  4. Tara Gordon says:

    Enormo boreyborus

  5. Gisella says:

    And there was me thinking I could suggest Gog and Magog, if that’s how you spell those names. Or to make it more fun: Goggy and Magroggy.

  6. Borey Borerson says:

    They stopped the additional response on the form so you have to pick one of the names.

  7. Stephen says:

    White and Elephant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> Transport News