Sixth Form students interested in engineering visited the site of the London Cable Tunnels just before the Christmas break. This joint venture between Skanska and Costain will allow the National Grid to run high voltage cabling through 40km of tunnels underneath London.

Within London a network of 275kV cables was installed in the 1960s which are now approaching the end of their technical life and due to increased electricity demand the cables are to be upgraded and replaced with 400kV cables. The students were given a talk introducing the project and learnt about the many aspects involved such as risk management, construction design and environmental advice, and saw photos of the process by which the tunnel boring machine (TBM) operates. They were then given the opportunity to go down the main shaft and walk along the length of the tunnel.

We hope that this will be the first of many site visits that we can organise to enable students to gain some real life experience of what a job in engineering would be like.