UK pubcaster BBC2 has commissioned The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway (three x 60 minutes, pictured) from Windfall Films.
The series follows the engineers and workers tunneling and building Crossrail, London’s new high-frequency, high-capacity subterranean rail link that will run beneath the River Thames.
It is Europe’s largest civil engineering project and will be the British capital’s first complete new underground rail line in more than 30 years. More than 10,000 engineers and construction workers are working on Crossrail, which will stretch 73 miles and include 26 miles of new tunnelling and 10 stations. It is due to open in 2018.
“For almost two years, Windfall Films’ cameras have been following key characters on the job – up close – to find out just what goes into a venture of this scale,” said Windfall creative director and exec producer Carlo Massarella in a statement. “The series offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the engineers on the project, the clever innovations underpinning the construction work and reveals how the team has overcome the biggest challenge of all – building the stations and tunnels while keeping London moving.”
Episode one follows the team of engineers as they drive a 1,000-tonne tunnel boring machine through a tiny gap in the underbelly of bustling Tottenham Court Road Station. Episode two follows the team as as they build train tunnels underwater and engineer Laura Miller as she attempts to rebuild a Victorian tunnel under the Royal Docks in London’s East End. The final episode focuses on the construction of the cathedral-sized station at Canary Wharf.
The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway was commissioned by BBC2 acting head of commissioning for science and natural history Tom McDonald.