DLR Dives Safely Under the Thames

This article describes the excavation of a pair of 1.8 kilometer-long tunnels driven by tunnel boring machine (TBM) beneath London’s Thames River. The tunnels are to be used by that city’s new Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension that will extend the line from King George V Dock to Woolwich Arsenal. The excavations began from the north side of the river and passed through alluvium, terraced gravels, chalk, and Thanet Sands before reaching the southern reception chamber. The TBM used was an earth pressure balance machine (EPBM) with tunnels lined with an eight piece trapezoidal ring of fiber. The excavations were somewhat hindered by a number of complications with geology and pressure that increased the torque of the TBM’s head, which were nonetheless overcome. Grouting problems were also experienced; however, contractors attribute this to a problem with the tube’s design in relation to what was being required of it.


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  • Accession Number: 01050258
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 8 2007 2:16PM