HS2 launches vote to name giant tunnelling machines

By Peter Madeley | Business | Published:

HS2 has launched a public vote to name its first giant tunnelling machines.

One of the HS2 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) set to launch on the project later this year.

People are being asked to choose between Cecilia, Florence and Marie – which were all suggested by schoolchildren – to name the pair of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) which are currently being built in Germany.

The 2,000 tonne TBMs, which are the length of five football pitches, will be put to work later this year and spend more than three years digging the 10-mile long Chiltern tunnels, plunging depths of up to 80 metres.

Cecilia would be named after astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, while Florence comes from Florence Nightingale and Marie is from Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, said: "The construction of HS2 is set to be an amazing opportunity to showcase global capability and innovation in the design and delivery of major infrastructure, and the tunnel boring machines are one of the most fascinating aspects.

"Like mini cities, they will spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week boring under the Chilterns so that the homes and habitats above remain undisturbed.

"This is just one of many ways in which HS2 is delivering on its responsibilities to our neighbours and the natural environment and, when complete, the new railway will play a key role in reducing transport carbon emissions and improving air quality for the next generation."

The names will be added to the machines during manufacture. Visit to vote.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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