The first two tunnel boring machines, Phyllis and Ada, began tunnelling from Royal Oak towards Farringdon in 2012. Their tunnel drives are approximately 6.4 km long - the second longest on drives on the Crossrail project.
The tunnelling machines from Royal Oak Portal passed successfully underneath the Network Rail tracks west of Paddington Station en route to the Crossrail station sites at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, and on to Farringdon east. Once each machine arrives at Farringdon the cutter heads will be removed from the ground using giant cranes and the machines dismantled.
In order to deliver the new rail tunnels our western tunnels contractors are managing a number of worksites from Old Oak Common through to Farringdon.
Construction of Royal Oak Portal, the first of five new tunnel portals to be constructed for Crossrail, commenced in January 2010 and was completed ahead of schedule in September 2011. The portal structure will be used for the construction of the new twin-bore tunnels, and in the future will provide the western entrance and exit for trains to the underground sections of Crossrail.