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"The tunnelling is finished. It's time to start building a railway. Ok, here at Rail Engineer we've taken an interest in the Crossrail tunnelling machinery. We've marvelled at the wonders of steering a delicate path through all the services and foundations beneath London. We've looked at the logistics of shifting all the spoil and the creation of a wetland nature reserve twice the size of the City of London at Wallasea Island in Essex.
"But we're really railway engineers, not tunnellers, and so it's now, with the tunnels completed, that our enthusiasm for the project really kicks in. Over the coming months we’ll be looking at how an almost bare tunnel will be kitted out with the paraphernalia of a railway and how all that stuff is integrated to form a complete system capable of running a service of up to a train every two minutes.
"This month, David Bickell covers the signalling and the transition from Network Rail to the Crossrail system and back again. In future issues, we’ll be looking in detail at the track installation equipment and how everything fits together, as well as delving into the power requirements and the overhead power delivery system.
"And amongst all this there will be coverage of the logistics involved in not only feeding this voracious project but how all the various sites are kept safely apart. Of course, everything will depend on telecoms right through and beyond the construction phase.
"But this is all to come. In the meantime we look at how things are at the moment with the rumble of the tunnelling machines now a thing of the past."