The machine will construct the final section of South East Water’s 1200mm (48 inch) diameter water pipeline, deep underneath the Reading to Waterloo railway line at Martin’s Heron, Winkfield.

The 120-metre section is the final piece of the new pipeline which starts at Bray Water Treatment Works near Maidenhead, and ends 17km away at two of the company’s service reservoirs in Swinley Forest, Berkshire.

Once complete the pipeline can start transferring an extra 23m litres of drinking water each day into the area to help supply the 300,000 households already supplied by South East Water, as well as new homes planned for the future.

The firm’s infrastructure development manager, Graham Webb, said: “This complex engineering work heralds the last phase of a massive project to secure customers’ water supplies across large parts of Berkshire and Surrey.

“The process to gain Network Rail’s permission to tunnel underneath the railway line has been a lengthy but necessary one, as the integrity of the track and passenger safety during construction work is paramount.

“Our contractors will be looking to complete this section of work as quickly as possible, so we can start delivering the additional 23m litres of water into our extensive water supply network ready to meet customers’ peak demands for water this Summer.”

Work will start on March 1 and is due to the end in May this year.

Luke Walsh

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