From above ground Crossrail is little more than an annoying eyesore you have to navigate around. But as with the Wombles, it's so much better underground, and here are the pictures to prove it.
Crossrail has today revealed these amazing pictures to show how far through the project it is.
It's now 90 per cent complete – that's equivalent to more than 23 miles. Tunnelling is due to finish next spring, with six out of eight tunnelling machines completed their drives across London.
Anyone who watched the BBC2 documentary showing how painstakingly careful the team had to be in avoiding all the existing tunnels, sewers, rivers and general subterranean infrastructure will understand just how much of an accomplishment that is. Also this has all been happening while we've been commuting over it.
More than 10,000 people are working directly on Crossrail, at around 40 construction sites – but it is estimated that the project and its supply chain will have supported the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the country.
There are very high hopes riding on the project, which will run more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. When it's completed rail capacity is expected to increase by 10 per cent, bringing an extra 1.5m people to within 45 minutes of central London.
The first phase will be finished in 2018.
The area around Tottenham Court Road is one of many that is thought to yield huge benefits from a dramatic increase in tourist and shopper numbers. It's also expected to push house prices up along the route.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: “Crossrail is being delivered on time and on budget. These fantastic images show the scale of work taking place around the clock beneath the streets of London.
"We are on schedule to provide London and the South East with a fantastic new railway in 2018.”