Paying a visit to the Crossrail tunnels as work continues

18:00 29 April 2014

The tunnelling at the Crossrail site in Pudding Mill Lane.

The tunnelling at the Crossrail site in Pudding Mill Lane.


It’s the point where 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines were launched into action and where thousands of passengers travelling from Havering will begin their descent underground.

And kitted out in hard hat and protective footwear I was invited to see Crossrail’s Pudding Mill Lane, Stratford site, which marks the point where trains will make their way into the tunnels, which will stretch right the way through central London and into Paddington in the west.

Two of Crossrail’s 1,000-tonne tunnelling machines were launched from this point, named “Jessica” and “Ellie” after two of the famous Olympians from London 2012, Jessica Ennis and Ellie Simmonds, a nod to how close the portal is to the Olympic Park.

Excavation work is still taking place to get the clay out of the tunnel and these machines will create just over a mile of new tunnels between Pudding Mill Lane and Stepney.

We are shown the concrete segments that line the tunnels, after being put together to form a ring.

I am told that there are 1,751 of these rings in the whole drive. 770 rings had been installed so far, meaning that they are well over a kilometre into the tunnel.

“We have got some very good crews up here, some very good, very experienced people and I think everyone works very well together,” said Bob Brown, site manager. Next was a trip to Stepney Green caverns, which are among the largest mined caverns ever constructed in Europe. This is where the Crossrail route will split in two. One section will make its way towards Essex and the other towards south east London.

There are currently more than 10,000 people working on 40 sites across London,

The crews are on target and by 2019 passengers will be able to use the services.

Once open the new rail line will carry an estimated 200 million passengers a year, with trains carrying up to 1,500 people during rush hour.

There will be changes to overground stations such as Ilford and Romford, and surface director Matthew White is optimistic about what Crossrail has to offer.

Speaking about Romford station, he said: “The inside will be remodelled to create much more space and there will be a new entrance to the north side of the station so more people can access it more easily.”

Residents using stations between Stratford and Shenfield are also set to benefit from new lifts, longer platforms and in some cases changes to ticket halls and station entrances.

For more photos from the visit see our gallery to the right.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Edward George Humphries, 91  fought in World War Two and has been awarded a Legional d'honneur by the French Embassy for his efforts during D-Day.

More than 70 years after the Normandy Landings, a 91-year-old man has received a medal for his war effort.

Peter Patterson

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable missing man with dementia.

Rise Park Junior School opens new year 6 block it is aimed at preparing year 6 for year 7 and has all-singing and all-dancing equipment aimed at improving learning and teaching.

A Havering school opened a new building on Wednesday, dedicated to year six pupils as part of a commitment to improve learning experiences.

Yesterday, 12:00
Havering Town Hall.

Havering Council has approved releasing more than £83million to provide affordable housing in the borough.

Yesterday, 12:00
Campaigners demonstrate in front of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch after Lidl submitted a planning application to demolish the Tower building

Campaigners battling to save the Mecca Bingo Hall building in Hornchurch are vowing to battle on and will appeal a decision not to list the building.

Yesterday, 10:00
Borough commander Jason Gwillim told the Recorder it was

The Borough Commander and MPs have welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s decision to scrap cuts to police forces.

Fri, 16:10
Recorder reporter Hayley Anderson with her national journalism award

Recorder reporter Hayley Anderson was highly commended in a national journalism awards evening in Birmingham last night.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder