Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has started the tunnelling that will form a major part of the 2.5km, £180 million Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Woolwich Arsenal extension.
The extension, part of Transport for London’s (TfL) five-year, £10 billion investment programme, is being designed and constructed by AMEC, the international project management and services company, on behalf of Woolwich Arsenal Rail Enterprises (WARE).
The Mayor launched Carla, the 540-tonne boring machine that will be used to connect DLR King George V station to the heart of Woolwich town centre. The DLR Woolwich Arsenal station will be situated alongside the existing mainline station and open in early 2009.
Mayor Ken Livingstone said, “All over London we are starting to see the work starting on the massive investment programme in our public transport system, and the Woolwich Arsenal extension will be a vital new transport link that will regenerate the local area and play an important role during the 2012 London Olympic Games.”
During the London Olympics the extension will serve the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, which will hold the shooting events, and provide access from Woolwich and South East London to the Olympic Park and other venues.
Two tunnels will be bored to allow trains to run in both directions. The tunnelling will take 15 months to complete, during which time the boring machine will run at depths of up to 35 metres under the River Thames. It will surface in Woolwich Arsenal in the autumn before being removed and reinstalled at the launch chamber for its second crossing.