The city of London will soon have a new underground train to climb aboard, dubbed the Crossrail. But, before anyone can ride the line, tunnels will have to be dug. That means its time to break out the TBM beasts. Over 490 feet long and topping 1,000 metric tons, these giant metal moles will slowly carve new tunnels under the city at about 330 feet per week. At that rate the Crossrail won’t open until 2018 but, until then, we can all sleep soundly knowing that machines — more than thrice as tall as a man — are slowly eating away at the largest city in the British Isles from underneath. For more images of London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, standing next to the German-made monstrosities, dressed in his daddy’s suit hit up the source link.
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Very lucky commuters using the number 38 between Victoria and Hackney will find themselves touring the nation’s capital on the first of London’s new Eco-Routemasters. The first paying passengers journey aboard the vehicle at midday today, which was designed in London and built in Ireland, ending a process that started in July 2008. A further seven of the hybrid buses will arrive at a rate of one every fortnight until the fleet (of eight out of the 68 needed for the route) is complete at the end of May. The fuel-efficient vehicle gets 11.6mpg, nothing to your average Prius, but a miracle to a city whose buses normally average half that. It will also mark a return for the good old Bus Conductor, except all they’ll be responsible for is ensuring people board and exit safely from that legendary rear door — if you want a ticket, you’ll still have to talk to the driver.