TBM Rachel has dug the western section of the Thames Tideway tunnel for the BMB joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty.
The tunnel boring machine broke through into the shaft at Tideway’s site in Acton at 11am on 24th September having excavated around 725,000 tonnes of spoil.
Senior project manager Neil Binns said: “Having broken through at Acton storm tanks, it’s easy to forget the time and effort that goes into making all this possible. From designing and manufacturing the TBM, to providing logistics support for its delivery by river, to the above-ground operation, as well as the skill of the tunnelling team – this is a fantastic achievement and a wonderful example of the teamwork required to clean up the River Thames.”
TBM Rachel first arrived in London from Germany in November 2017. After weeks of re-assembly, the 1,350-tonne machine was lowered 35 metres into the ground and began tunnelling in May 2019.
TBM Rachel was named after Rachel Parsons, who was the founding president of the Women's Engineering Society and a former Fulham resident.
The whole £4.1bn project is expected to complete in spring 2025.