Crossrail: Tunneling Beneath London

When one digs beneath London, England, one digs through history. Crossrail, the largest construction project in Europe, is tunneling under the British capital to provide a new underground rail link across the city, and has encountered not only a maze of existing modern infrastructure, but historic finds including mammoth bone fragments, Roman roads (with ancient horseshoes embedded in the ruts), Black Plague burial grounds, and 16th century jewelry. The $25 billion (15 billion pound) project is due to open in 2018, connecting London's Heathrow airport to the county of Essex -- five tunnel boring machines are creating a kilometer of new tunnel under London every two weeks. The millions of tons of soil from the Crossrail construction are being shipped to Wallasea Island in the Thames Estuary, allowing the island to be transformed from levee-protected farmland into a thriving wetland.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Tauseef Mustafa / AFP / Getty

    Unrest in Kashmir Surges Once More

    Anti-government protests have escalated again in Indian-administered Kashmir, following violent clashes earlier this month.

  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

    The Masks We Wear

    We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement.

  • NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

    Portraits of the Earth-Moon System

    Images of the Earth and Moon together, some from as far away as 100 million miles.

  • Greg Locke / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 4/15–4/21

    A massive statue of a Miao goddess erected in China, the “Hare Pie Scramble and Bottle Kicking event” in England, a manned rocket launch in Kazakhstan, and much more.

Join the Discussion