Crossrail unveils its first completed tunnel

media captionProject Manager Andy Alder says he is proud of the first tunnel

The first completed tunnel in the £14.8bn Crossrail project has been unveiled.

Tunnel machine Phyllis bored 4.25 miles (7km) between Royal Oak and Farringdon in London in an 18-month operation.

Crossrail's seven giant tunnelling machines have completed 15 miles of the 26 miles (42km) of new train tunnels.

When completed in 2018, Crossrail will link Berkshire to Essex via Heathrow and central London.

A time capsule has been enclosed in the remaining section of Phyllis.

'Key milestone'

Among the items included in the capsule was a 2013 edition of the London A-Z street atlas donated by the company of A-Z originator Phyllis Pearsall, after whom the Phyllis machine was named.

Another 8.75 miles (14km) of new passenger, platform and service tunnels are being built below the new Crossrail stations.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander viewed the new tunnel saying it was a "key milestone in the journey towards a better transport network in London".

He added: "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 10%.

"When completed Crossrail is set to create £42bn for the UK economy, which means more jobs, better skills and growing businesses across the country."

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