Tunnelling work on the Crossrail development in London has restarted after the collapse of a spoil hopper briefly halted operations.

One of the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) was halted earlier in the month while staff members looked to rectify the problem that had been caused following the collapse of their apparatus. However, once it was fixed, the TBM has restarted and work continued on Monday (October 22nd). Officials stated that the second apparatus will also carry on its work in the coming weeks. It is hoped that the hold-up does not interfere with the schedule organisers have already laid out for this project, the Construction Enquirer reports.

Crossrail is designed to provide another rail route across London and aims to reduce the amount of pressure that London Underground network currently deals with. Passengers using this system will be able to avoid using the usually busy tube lines and will help provide an alternative from the traditional bus routes that can become highly congested during peak hours.

Officials noted that the collapse of the spoil hopper was caused by a backlog of tunnel spoil and had forced workers to suspend the TBM to ensure that it was safe to carry on.

A Crossrail spokesman told the source: "Stockpile levels at Royal Oak have now been sufficiently reduced and tunnelling can now recommence. Lorries have been used to reduce the stockpile at Royal Oak. Excavated material from tunnelling will be stockpiled at Royal Oak this week ahead of removal by lorry.

"Once this stockpile has been fully depleted, the use of lorries to transport excavated material from the site will discontinue."

Work on the Crossrail development has been ongoing since 2010 with the first part of the tunnel ports and shafts due to be completed by 2014 and fully finished by 2016. The Royal Oak to Farringdon tunnelling operations are already underway and officials have earmarked the third quarter of 2013 for them to be completed while the entire tunnel drive is due to be done by the third quarter of 2014.

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