In the last few months those travelling on the Thames, such as the commuters in the Clippers zooming up and down between Putney and Gravesend, will have seen more and more tunnel boring machines (TBMs) appear on the riverbank.
The one at Fulham (with cutting head above) has been assembled from parts (as blogged here) and similar constructions can been seen at other sites, such as by Battersea Power Station. In total there are 5 TBMs on this project.
The acoustic shed that was under construction (as described in this blog) is now finished and within it a shaft is being cut down to the level of the tunnel:
This pic must have been taken a few weeks ago as its now just over 20m down of the total 50m depth where tunnelling will happen.
The soil is being removed by barge down the Thames. When the TBM is fully operational it will be continually generating waste and which a series of conveyor belts will transport onto these lighters 24 hours a day.
A couple of years ago I walked the Thames Tunnel, constructed between 1825 and 1843 by the father and son team of 20 year old Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Marc.
This project will take a lot less time to complete and use a lot higher tech but its fascinating to see this new part of London's infrastructure take shape.
Images from: Thames Tideway Tunnel