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Only one week to go: Cast your vote to name HS2 Tunnel Boring Machine in Warwickshire

There is just one week to go before voting closes in the national competition to name our third Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), which will dig a one-mile twin bore tunnel under Long Itchington Wood in Warwickshire. Visit www.hs2.org.uk/tbmvoting to cast your vote by June 30 .

Long Itchington Wood Tunnel north portal site

More than 180 entries submitted by people in Warwickshire, asked to nominate the names of women closely associated with the county, were whittled down to a shortlist of three. The three candidates are:

Anne - named after Anne Hathaway, who was the wife of the country’s most famous playwright William Shakespeare. She was born in 1556 and her childhood home nearby in Stratford-upon-Avon was bought by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1892 and turned into a museum. Anne was suggested by a Nuneaton resident.

Dorothy - named after Dorothy Hodgkin, who in 1964 became the first British woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her discoveries included confirming the structure of penicillin, and her work with insulin paved the way for it to be used on a large scale for treatment of diabetes. She died in 1994 in Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire. Dorothy was suggested by a student at Warwickshire College Group.

Mary Ann - named after Mary Ann Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, who was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She was born in Nuneaton and her novels, most famously 'Middlemarch', are celebrated for their realism and psychological insights. A North Leamington School pupil suggested Mary Ann.

Please vote for your favourite name

We are planning to reveal the winning name later this year.

The Long Itchington Wood TBM will begin tunnelling later this year. Operated by our main works contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV), the 2,000-tonne machine will take around five months to complete the first bore of two parallel tunnels. The Long Itchington Wood tunnel means that the ancient woodland above the tunnelling works will not be disturbed and the final section will be a ‘green tunnel' with a soil ‘roof’ built around the tunnel entrance to blend the portal into the natural landscape.

This is the third TBM put to a public naming vote. Our first two machines, Florence and Cecilia, are already tunnelling under the Chilterns and were named after famous local Buckinghamshire women: Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, spent many years living in the county, while Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a pioneering astronomer and astrophysicist, was born in Buckinghamshire.

If you have a question about HS2 or our works, please contact our HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

Posted on 23rd June 2021

by HS2 in Birmingham