The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway

Tunnels Under the Thames

Series 1 - Episode 2 Tunnels Under the Thames



It’s tempting to say that watching the huge tunnelling machines at work in this series is endlessly fascinating, but that’s not quite true. By the end of tonight’s instalment we’ve seen so many shots of the clever way the giant drill slots sections of tunnel wall into place behind itself that it’s probably enough for now.

The challenges of the Crossrail underground line, Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, continue to tax the engineers. As one project manager notes, her part of it will be “a bucket of spiders”, as she has to enlarge a tunnel first built by Brunel under the Royal Docks, and when you think about it, enlarging a 130-year-old tunnel is tricky.


Engineer Linda Miller battles to rebuild a Victorian tunnel under the Royal Docks in the East End as part of the Crossrail train line linking east and west London. Meanwhile, the Berminghams attempt to follow in the footsteps of 19th-century father-and-son team Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel as they construct a new tunnel beneath the Thames.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Carlo Massarella
Series Director Joby Lubman
Series Producer Jane Fitzgerald