The first of the Crossrail Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) Elizabeth has now nearly passed completely under the Barbican and is close to Lauderdale Tower, while the second, Victoria is, at the time of writing, under Willoughby House and Brandon Mews about 0.2km behind. The writer is unaware of any Barbican dwellers having been disturbed by the machines passing under us – and the lakes don’t appear to have drained into the tunnels. (At one time there was a suggestion that the Barbican’s Lakes might have to be emptied prior to the TBMs passing underneath.)
The Barbican Association’s Chair, Jane Smith, recently had the opportunity to go into the tunnels and see TBM Elizabeth at work as it tunnelled beneath us and was suitably impressed – so much so that she’s written us an article about her experience which will appear in the Summer issue of Barbican Life.
By the time the magazine comes out the TBMs should have finished their journeys –they are driving the final tunnels to be completed on the whole scheme and then it will be down to the constructors to fit out the tunnels ready for initial rail traffic in 2018.
With a station at each end of the Barbican (Liverpool Street to the East with access directly from Moorgate Station and Farringdon to the west, with access from Barbican Station) Barbican residents will have their already excellent transport links further enhanced, bringing Heathrow Airport within about a 30 minute journey probably bringing another boost to property values and probably putting some residents into the proposed mansion tax brackets. Every silver lining has a cloud it would seem!