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Naming boring machines

Crossrail has launched a competition seeking names for six of its giant tunnel boring machines.

The TBMs will be constructing the new rail tunnels under London. Londoners and people living along the Crossrail route have been asked to propose pairs of names for the machines. The winning entries will be painted onto the tunnel boring machines.

This spring, the first two 140 metre long TBMs weighing 1,000 tonnes will burrow four miles east from Royal Oak via Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road before reaching Farringdon in summer 2013.

Later this year, the second pair of machines will launch from Limmo in Docklands driving 5.2 miles west towards Farringdon via Whitechapel and Liverpool Street.

In the winter, two TBMs will be launched from Plumstead tunnelling 1.6 miles and under the River Thames to North Woolwich.

A Crossrail panel will select a shortlist before the public is invited to vote online for their favourite pairs of names in February. Prizes will be awarded to the three entrants who receive the most votes.

Winners will receive either Eurostar vouchers or an annual family pass to Merlin Theme Parks and will be invited to attend the tunnelling launch event at Royal Oak Portal.

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