Now’s your chance to name HS2’s tunnelling machines

To build HS2, they need to drill a big tunnel. That’s why two new tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are being introduced on the project next year, and, naturally, they need to be named. 

The new machines will dig below Brent and Ealing, creating the Northolt Tunnel East. Stretching from Old Oak Common station to West Ruislip, it will be 8.4 miles in total. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to name them anything stupid like Big Bore or Tunnel McTunnelface. As is tradition, the drills will be named after famous women and voters will have to choose from a shortlist of five notable women who have connections to Ealing. 

We’ve rounded up the shortlist below:

Amy Barbour-James – Acton-born Amy was active in the civil rights movements and involved in the African Progress Union and the League of Coloured Peoples, becoming secretary of the latter organisation in 1942.

Lady Anne Byron – Lady Anne Byron resided in Ealing during the early half of the 19th century. She established the Ealing Grove School in 1834 – the first school for the working classes in an era when education was mainly for the wealthy.

Brigid Brophy – Ealing-born Brigid was a British writer and campaigner whose commentary on social matters often focused on the rights of authors, non-heterosexuals and animals.

Emily Sophia Taylor – Ealing’s first woman mayor, she was an active member of the Education Committee and the Child Welfare Committee. 

Susan Mary Smee – Acton’s first female mayor and the first curator of Gunnersbury Park Museum.

Voting is open online here until Monday September 4. 

You can also vote for your favourite Lioness to be turned into a Madame Tussauds waxwork.

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