Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy

You can see the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy building from the train between Manor Park and Ilford, on the mainline from Liverpool Street Station to Shenfield, or intercity to Ipswich and Norwich. I saw the earthworks when it was being built, but didn’t know what it was at the time. Now there’s an enormous black shed over the site, with large red lettering which reads “Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy” The words are so big I couldn’t even fit them into one photograph with my camera set to widescreen!Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy building

Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy

Tunneling and Underground Construction Academy

So what is do they do there exactly? Well, pretty much what it says on the tin, but what they omit to say in the title is that it’s all linked to the Crossrail project.

The establishment of a Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) is central to Crossrail’s delivery plans and its legacy to the industry.

What is TUCA?

The Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) is a purpose-built training facility that supports the key skills required to work in tunnel excavation, underground construction and infrastructure.

By building and establishing TUCA, Crossrail is contributing to the development of new qualifications and Health and Safety standards across the industry.

Crossrail is working with industry, professional bodies and other organisations with a requirement for skilled underground workers, to ensure that the facilities and training at TUCA  are aligned with the needs of the industry.

from http://www.crossrail.co.uk/delivering/skills-employment/tuca/#.T55h6sRYuco

Crossrail itself is the huge engineering project to build a new underground east west railway line underneath London, connecting Heathrow and Paddington through to the City and Docklands, and out through Manor Park and Ilford to Shenfield. Its the beginning of an extra deeper, faster layer to the London undergound system which should really have begun in the 1970s like the RER in Paris. The first trains running on part of Crossrail are due in 2018 with a full through service sketched in to commence in December 2019.

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