During the next four months, components for the 150m-long machine will be transported to the Limmo worksite from Tilbury Docks and reassembled before being lowered in sections down two huge shafts.
Once fully assembled below ground, Elizabeth will begin boring the first of Crossrail’s two eastern running tunnels between Docklands and central London.
Workers have reached the temporary bottom of the two huge launch shafts and have started work on sprayed concrete lined tunnels to connect the two shafts. The larger of the two shafts is 30m in diameter and will be 44m deep when completed.
Limmo Peninsula, next to Canning Town station, is a key Crossrail worksite from where Elizabeth and Victoria will be launched.
The machines will dig Crossrail’s longest tunnel section running 8.3km to Farringdon station via Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street.
Victoria completed her factory testing last week and is due to start tunnelling this winter. This means that four of the eight Crossrail TBMs have now been manufactured.
Crossrail eastern tunnels project manager Peter Main said: “Work is now underway to assemble the tunnel boring machines for Crossrail’s eastern tunnels between Docklands and central London. These machines will carve some 1.2 million tonnes of excavated material from under London and help build a rail line that will transform rail transport in the capital.”
Crossrail will build a new dock and conveyer system at Limmo to take the excavated material from the eastern tunnels to Wallasea Island in Essex by ship. The excavated material will be used to create Europe’s largest manmade inter-tidal nature reserve.
The dock will also be used to receive more than 120,000 concrete segments that will line the tunnels. The concrete segments will be transported by ship to Limmo Peninsula from a pre-cast concrete segment factory at Chatham in Kent.