Crossrail has completed work to restore sections of the Connaught tunnel, re-flooding the Royal Docks in time for its September deadline.

The Victorian-era tunnel will be brought into use for the first time since 2006 when Crossrail trains start serving London commuters in 2018, becoming the only existing tunnel to be used as part of the project.

Restoration works involved draining the Royal Docks so that a hole could be drilled in the crown of the tunnel to allow above-ground access for removing materials.

Crossrail had until the first week in September to complete the work and refill the docks in time for ships making their way to the ExCel arena for a trade show.

Damaged central sections of the Connaught Tunnel have now been strengthened, widened and deepened to accomodate new Crossrail rolling stock.

Linda Miller, Connaught Tunnel Project Manager said: “It was a race against the clock to get the work completed and the dock re-flooded, so it’s great news that we’ve got it finished ahead of schedule.

“It’s been a fantastic effort by the whole team to get the job done safely, quickly and effectively.”

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