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400 kV Thames Crossing facts for kids

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400 kV Thames Crossing
The Kent tower
The Kent tower
Country UK
Ownership information
Owner National Grid plc
Construction information
Commissioned 1965
Technical information
Type High-level overhead line
Type of current AC
AC voltage 400 kV

The 400 kV Thames Crossing is an overhead power line crossing of the River Thames, between Botany Marshes in Swanscombe, Kent, and West Thurrock, Essex, England. Its towers are the tallest electricity pylons in the UK.

The present crossing was built in 1965, and comprises two 190-metre (623 feet) tall lattice towers each side of the Thames. Some suggest that the choice of this height was deliberate, being just taller than the BT Tower in London. The span is 1372 metres (4501 feet), the minimum height of the conductors over the river is 76 metres (249 feet). Each tower has three crossarms and carries two circuits of 400 kV three-phase AC.

400 kV power lines also cross the Thames at the Thames Cable Tunnel, the Dartford Cable Tunnel, and the London Power Tunnels.

132 kV Thames Crossing

There was at one time an earlier 132 kV crossing nearby, with towers 148.4 metres tall. Linking Dagenham and Crossness, it was built between 1927 and 1932 and was part of the Belvedere-Crowlands 132/33/25 kV double circuit. With the cessation of generation at Belvedere Power Station, this line was dismantled in 1987.

2006 death

In March 2006, Paul Smith-Crallan attempted to BASE jump from a platform on the Swanscombe Tower. The parachute he was using is believed to have failed to open, causing him to plunge to his death. This tower is a popular base jumping location because of two platforms that provide good launch points.


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