HS2 has marked a major milestone in its high-speed rail project with the breakthrough of a tunnelling machine into the underground Old Oak Common station site in west London.
The tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Lydia finished its 853m journey into the station box, completing construction of the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel. The tunnel will allow materials to be transported to the HS2 line's planned Euston Tunnel without disrupting other work at Old Oak Common or local roads.
The TBM was constructed using parts from a machine previously used on London's Elizabeth line. Its name, Lydia, was chosen by the local community after Lydia Gandaa, a former teacher at Old Oak Common Primary School.
Later this year, two more TBMs will be lowered into the station box to dig the tunnels that will bring the HS2 line into Euston station. HS2 said the logistics tunnel breakthrough marks a key step in connecting the planned high-speed line between London and the West Midlands.
Malcolm Codling, Project Client Director for HS2 Ltd said: “The completion of the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel takes us closer along our journey to bring HS2 into central London at Euston. The logistics tunnel is a key part of our plans to enable us to construct the Euston Tunnel and will reduce the construction impact on the local community.”
TBM Lydia has removed 62,000 tonnes of London Clay over 9 months, sent by rail for reuse across the UK, installed 535 concrete rings and will deliver 56,000 concrete segments (manufactured by STRABAG) to the two Euston tunnel TBMs.
James Richardson, Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “The completion of the Atlas Road logistics tunnel paves the way for us to deliver our London tunnels programme to Euston. The tunnel supports our continued commitment to reducing cost and carbon by removing one million lorry journeys off London’s roads.”