26 July 2022

Put on your red shoes and dance - Dorothy, HS2’s TBM completes first tunnel

After eight months underground the breakthrough comes on the London to Birmingham route.

Dorothy the tunnel boring machine
© Department for Transport

Dorothy, HS2’s 2000-tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM), has completed her first tunnel breakthrough along the route.  This is the first of 64 miles of tunnels.

The tunnels have been specially designed to protect the ancient woodland and complex ecosystem above. They integrate with the natural landscape by reusing material excavated from the tunnel to build a soil ‘roof’ around the tunnel entrance. The rest of the excavated material will be transported by conveyor belt out of the site rather than by lorries and trucks.

Dorothy is one of 10 custom made TBMs for the project.