Being led by Father Timothy Gorham of Ealing Abbey and Benedict’s Parish Ealing, the blessing ceremony of World Tunnelling Day for HS2 was held on the site of the next set of tunnels to be bored by two TBMs under London.
While the priest blessed both portals of the twin bored tunnel where TBMs Emily and Anne are being prepared for commission in the new year, he blessed two statues of St Barbara which will be placed at the tunnel portal entrance, to protect the underground tunnellers as they work.
As part of the 13.5km twin bored Northolt tunnel, the tunnel being constructed is the Northolt Tunnel East that is 5.7km long running from Victoria Road in North Acton to West Ruislip. Implementing HS2 services between Old Oak Common station and outer London when the line is completed, will be the duty of this tunnel.
Herrenknecht EPBMs Emily and Anne are slated to complete their journey in Greenford, whereas Skanksa Costain Strabag (SCS) joint venture completed the lift of the components for the two 1,700-tonne machines at the Victoria Road Crossover Box site in November.
Being located in two phases – Northolt Tunnel West and Northolt Tunnel East, this 13.5km-long tunnel is being built by four TBMs. Also November last year, was the date of launching TBMs Sushila and Caroline.