The machine now begins her underground journey from Bermondsey towards Abbey Mills pumping station in east London.
The Herrenknecht TBM, called Selina, was delivered to Tideway’s Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey from Germany in July. Following completion of the specialist lifting system, the team lowered the machine to the bottom of the shaft over a period of 12 hours.
Selina’s front shield and cutterhead weighs almost 800 tonnes and when the accompanying six gantries are lowered, the TBM weighs almost 1500 tonnes and stretches 111 metres. Her diameter is 8,850mm.
A total of six TBMs are being used to build the Thames Tideway tunnel, London’s super sewer; two of them have already finished tunnelling.
TBM Selina is named after Dr Selina Fox, who founded the Bermondsey Medical Mission in 1904. The small clinic and eight-bed hospital provided medical and spiritual care to the most vulnerable women and children in the area, and continues to this day as a local charity.