Thames Tunnel

London, UK

As partner in a joint venture, HOCHTIEF Infrastructure was responsible from 2011 to 2015 for constructing two tunnels with a total length of about 5.5 kilometers beneath the River Thames in London. Our contract lot is part of a huge infrastructure project: From 2018 onwards, a new rail link will connect the west and east of the British capital. With an overall length of 118 kilometers, 21 of which will consist of tunnels, this link will, according to estimates, benefit some 1.5 million people. 

Our Engineering unit designed the critical cross passages and auxiliary structures for tunnel boring operations and also provided support during design and construction process management as well as during construction supervision. Demand was particularly high for the team's geotechnical specialists for the technically challenging tunnel boring works under the Thames, and for the material engineers in order to develop—using steel and PP fibers—a concrete mixture that resists the defined fire impact. 

A particularly good example of the responsible use of water as a resource is the project team in London. Employees of the HOCHTIEF Murphy joint venture saved a total of 68 million liters of fresh water in the excavation of the two tunnel tubes—that is enough to fill more than 27 standard swimming pools. The excavation requires high water pressure. Rather than using drinking water for this, our tunnel experts collected the water pumped from the Plumstead Portal, which also forms part of the C310 project, to drain it dry. In 2014, this achievement won the team a sustainability award in the Environmental Performance category, which our client Crossrail regularly presents. The tunnel builders endeavor to reduce the consumption of concrete, production waste, and energy at every stage. Their aim is not just to meet benchmarks, but to exceed them. 



  • City: London
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Client: Crossrail Limited, London
  • Contract type: Design and build
  • Construction period: 2011 - 2018