Connaught Tunnel refurbishment complete ahead of Crossrail track works

By Rob Virtue on July 29, 2014 4:38 PM |

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A Victorian tunnel in east London has been renovated as it prepares to become part of the Crossrail train system.

The Connaught Tunnel, built in 1878, has been widened and strengthened over three years.

It will form a 550m stretch of track for the cross-London transport link when it opens in 2018.

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Photos showing the tunnel in 2010 before the works began

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Coal and soot has also been scrubbed from the walls of the tunnel, which runs below the Royal Docks, near Excel and London City Airport.

The link was built to accommodate the docks and survived a bombing in the Second World War.

The tracks, overhead cables and communications systems will be put in place next year.

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Work being undertaken at the tunnel, which took three years

Linda Miller, Connaught Tunnel Project Manager said: "It's great to know that, thanks to our work, this 135 year old tunnel will once again have a vital role to play in London's transport network.

"Once Crossrail opens in 2018, up to 12 trains an hour will pass through the tunnel beneath the Royal Docks, hugely improving links between southeast London and the rest of the capital."

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Steel rings were removed from the ceiling of the tunnel

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The renovated tunnel following the works (pictured this month)