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Published on : Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail, has unveiled its first completed train tunnel 18 months after tunnelling machine, Phyllis, started her 6.8 kilometre journey from Royal Oak to Farringdon.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Infrastructure Minister Lord Deighton and Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring have become the first visitors to set foot inside the completed train tunnel, entering via what will be the future Crossrail Farringdon station.
They gained a glimpse of how the most significant addition to London’s transport network in a generation will look when it opens in 2018, and enclosed a time capsule in the remaining section of Crossrail’s first tunnelling machine, Phyllis.Crossrail is delivering a significant economic boost across the UK with more than 10,000 people currently working across 45 construction sites. Over 75,000 business opportunities will be created across the UK during the life of the project.
The ministers met several of the workers including apprentices that have been constructing the new passenger tunnels underneath Farringdon station. Crossrail is on target to deliver over 400 apprenticeships with more than 260 apprentices already working on the project.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon. Danny Alexander said: “This first tunnel is a key milestone in the journey towards a better transport network in London. Crossrail will transform the way people travel, slashing journey times from the City to Heathrow by around 30 minutes and increasing London’s rail capacity by ten per cent. Anyone who travels in London knows Crossrail can’t come soon enough and today shows that the project is on track to open in 2018.
“This is just one part of the government’s plan to invest in our future through growth boosting projects. When completed Crossrail is set to create £42 billion for the UK economy, which means more jobs, better skills and growing businesses across the country.”
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton said: “Big projects bring big rewards and Crossrail is another excellent example of the UK delivering on time and on budget to create world-leading infrastructure that will drive our economy. The project will create the equivalent of 55,000 new jobs, support thousands of business and produce lasting benefits for the whole country through the supply chain.