I’m a big fan of documentaries.
One of the recent ones I’ve been watching lately is the 15 billion the 3 parts BBC one about
Crossrail Elizabeth line. 3 episodes for a total of 3 hours on this astonishing and engineering work under a living (and buzzing) city. Breath-taking.
It makes you feel quite humble about your day-to-day work and want to switch to civil engineering almost immediatly :-) I am always tempted to imagine what would a building look like if it has been design with the same approach and rigourness than what some of developers of our sector would.
Some interesting bits I learnt about the tunnels boring machines (TBM).
- 8 TBM have worked on the whole Crossrail line. They all have women names.
- The very first tunnel under a river was dug in London (The Thames Tunnel). It has been finished in 1864 after 16 years of work. It was used by pedestrians and is now part of the Overground line between Shadwell and Rotherithe.
- This tunnel used for the first time a tunnelling shield : a cage, with 32 workers excavating the ground.
- Another XIXth century tunnel, Connaught tunnel, as been reused for the Cross Rail.