Europe’s Biggest Infrastructure Project, Explored By Drone And Timelapse

After three years of non-stop digging, the tunnels for Crossrail, London’s new subway system, are finally complete. And while passengers won’t be running through the tunnels for another three years, Transport for London has sent down a bunch of drones and timelapse cameras to give us a much better feel for what’s been happening under London.

Work started on Crossrail back in 2009, but the tunnels weren’t begun until 2012, when the first of eight giant machines started burrowing into the earth. At peak, the machines were churning out 90m of new tunnel per week, while they dodged their way around the existing tube and sewer lines.

The video above mixes drone flights through the tunnels with timelapse videos of the construction to give some small appreciation of the scale of the work being done. In total, 42km of new tunnels have been dug under England’s capital. Last week saw the final breakthrough, with ‘Victoria’ crashing through the clay into the cavern that will become Farringdon station by 2018.