A THIRD boring machine is digging the 8.4-mile Northolt Tunnel as part of the HS2 rail line.

Tunnel Boring Machine Emily, named after Emily Sophia Taylor, who helped establish the Perivale Maternity Hospital in 1937 before becoming Ealing’s first female mayor in 1938, will dig almost half of the route.

She will bore 3.4 miles under Ealing from Victoria Road Crossover Box, near Old Oak Common station, to Greenpark Way in Greenford.

Contractors assembled Emily underground at the Victoria Road site after being lifted in parts and lowered into a shaft.

Manufactured in Germany, Emily is is designed specifically for the soft London clay that will be extracted.

The twin-bore Northolt Tunnel will carry HS2 trains in and out of London and is being built in two sections.

Two TBMs, named Sushila and Caroline, are already constructing it eastward between West Ruislip and Greenford.

Another two – Emily and Anne – are being used to dig the tunnel in the opposite direction from Victoria Road Crossover Box to Greenford.  

Anne – the fourth and final Northolt TBM – will launch next month.

The quartet are set to complete their journeys in 2025.

Extracted clay will be taken by rail and re-used at sites in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Rugby.