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Mon June 14 2021

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Crossrail seeks 'modern hero' names for TBMs

1 May 13 Crossrail is asking the public to nominate their ‘modern day heroes’ as name suggestions for the last of the tunnelling machines building the cross-London route.

The final two tunnelling machines will be launched this summer from Pudding Mill Lane near the Olympic Park in east London.

The competition asks the public to nominate names of inspirational modern figures.

A total of eight tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are being used to build 42km of tunnels beneath London to form the central section of the Crossrail route.

The naming of TBMs after women is a long-held tunnelling tradition and the names of Crossrail’s first six TBMs were each inspired by British heritage and history – tunnelling machines Ada and Phyllis in west London named after early computer scientist Ada Lovelace and Phyllis Pearsall who created the London A-Z; Elizabeth and Victoria in east London, named after Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II; and Mary and Sophia in southeast London, named after the wives of railway engineers Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Marc Isambard Brunel.

For the final two tunnelling machines Crossrail is looking ahead to the modern day and asking the public to nominate their ‘modern day heroes’ and inspirational women.

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Crossrail pointed out that the TBMs will be launched from close to the Olympic Park - the setting for a number of heroes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games such as Gold-medal winners Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds, Laura Trott and Sarah Storey.

Crossrail Chief Executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: “The Crossrail project is moving London forward so we are focussing on inspirational modern figures for the names of our final two tunnelling machines. There are a range of role models and inspiring names for people to choose from in culture, sport, entertainment and a range of other areas. We look forward to hearing their naming suggestions for our final two tunnelling machines that will soon be making their mark on the capital.”

The tunnelling machine naming competition is now open for people to nominate names at The public nomination process will run for 5 weeks, closing on Friday 31st May when a final shortlist of names will be selected.

Crossrail workers, including those who will work on the final two tunnelling machines, will then choose two winning names from the shortlisted public nominations.  

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