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The Crossrail project includes a planned phase to cover the Western Running Tunnels. 

The Western Running Tunnels phase covers Royal Oak to Farringdon west (Drive X) and the length of drive is approximately 6.4km.  It is the first of five drives required to construct the Crossrail tunnelled section and will provide the access point for rail services from the west of the capital.

The first Crossrail Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) will be launched from Royal Oak in March 2012 and TBMs will pass through the stations at Bond Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon east.  At its final destination the cutter heads will be removed from the TBM and the machines will be dismantled.

TBMS will be launched towards east of Farringdon and will pass under Bond Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon stations – creating the running tunnels.  Following this, the area surrounding the running tunnels will be enlarged.

As the main tunnelling works progress, Spray Concrete Lining (SCL) works will be implemented at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.  As the TBMs pass Bond Street, a cross-over tunnel will be installed in order to allow this work to be completed.

Material that is excavated by TBM will be diverted through one tunnel to allow for a SCL station at the other.  This excavated material will be moved out through Royal Oak Portal and transported by rail to a transfer dock in order to be re-used on further development sites.  This new strategy for tunnelling in the western section reduces the amount of material transported through London’s streets by over 85%.

Transport Advisor for the Mayor of London, Kulveer Ranger, said: “London is a step closer to making this all important railway a reality.

“With contracts in place we can begin burrowing beneath the city’s streets to forge the line which will make zipping from east to west even quicker and easier for Londoners, commuters and visitors.”

BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd and Kier Construction are the joint contractors and the phase is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.

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