Crossrail launches competition to name giant tunnelling machines

Crossrail launches competition to name giant tunnelling machines

Crossrail has launched a competition seeking names for six of the giant tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will construct the major new rail tunnels under London.

Londoners and people living along the Crossrail route are being asked to propose pairs of names for the machines. The winning entries will be painted onto the tunnel boring machines.

This spring, the first two 140 metre long TBMs weighing 1,000 tonnes will travel 6.4 km (4 miles) east from Royal Oak via Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road before reaching Farringdon in summer 2013. Later this year, the second pair of machines will launch from Limmo in Docklands driving 8.3 km (5.2 miles) west towards Farringdon via Whitechapel and Liverpool Street. In the winter, two TBMs will be launched from Plumstead travelling 2.6 km (1.6 miles) and under the River Thames to North Woolwich.

A Crossrail panel will select a shortlist before the public is invited to vote online for their favourite pairs of names in February. Prizes will be awarded to the three entrants who receive the most votes.

Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: “Crossrail is Europe’s largest construction project and will transform rail travel in London and the south east. This competition is a chance for Londoners and those living along the Crossrail route to suggest the names of the tunnel boring machines that will construct the major new rail tunnels under London. In years to come the winners of the competition will be able to travel on Crossrail and not only say they named the machines that built the tunnels but that they watched history unfold as tunnelling started.”

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The winning entrants will have the option of a prize of either Eurostar vouchers or an annual family pass to Merlin Theme Parks, which have been donated by Crossrail’s tunnelling and delivery contractors. Winners will also be invited to attend the tunnelling launch event at Royal Oak.