The high-speed railway today reached another milestone in the gigantic construction project.

As part of the HS2 construction and engineering works, dubbed as Europe’s largest infrastructure project, a famous – and enormous – machines work tirelessly.

Weighing 2,000 tonnes, the Tunnel Boring Machine ‘Dorothy’ was named after Dorothy Hodgkin. In 1964, she became the first British woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Mrs Hodgkin’s namesake machine, at 125 meters long, is one of the first to break through the entire length of tunnel as part of the high-speed railway’s construction in Warwickshire.

READ MORE: Rose and Crown pub puts on blooming good show

HS2 Ltd’s CEO Mark Thurston said: “This is a historic moment for the HS2 project, and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in delivering it.

"The 400-strong team, including tunnelling engineers, TBM operators and the construction workers at both portal sites, have pulled out all the stops to achieve this fantastic milestone.

Bucks Free Press: The tunnel's South Portal at Long Itchington Wood, Warwickshire (Andrew Hendry / HS2The tunnel's South Portal at Long Itchington Wood, Warwickshire (Andrew Hendry / HS2

“This milestone demonstrates the significant momentum behind Britain’s new zero-carbon railway, creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, along with hundreds of opportunities for businesses right across the country, helping fuel our economic recovery.”

While Dorothy reached the milestone first, two even larger boring machines ‘Florence’ and ‘Cecilia’ are excavating through Buckinghamshire.  

Named after Florence Nightingale and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin TBM Florence and Cecilia measure 170 meters, and like Dorothy, they remove thousands of cubic meters of mud and soil.

After its excavation, the soil will be separated at on-site slurry treatment plant for re-use on embankments and landscaping on the HS2 route.

A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd said: “The TBMs boring under the Chiltern Hills, named Florence and Cecilia, have passed the first ventilation and access shaft, about two miles into the tunnel, near the village of Chalfont St Peter.”

READ MORE: Ukraine charity walk takes Amersham Samaritan into unknown

“Florence and Cecilia will pass five shafts in total, arriving next at Chalfont St Giles, followed by Amersham, Little Missenden and finally Chesham.

“They are expected to break through at the north portal, in South Heath, in 2024.”

In April, Great Missenden pupils named the first of two mini versions of the bigger Florence and Cecilia as ‘Lizzie’ after Queen Elizabeth ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.