London & South East

Connecting the capital through Crossrail

Crossrail Limited (CRL) is a subsidiary of Transport for London and is responsible for delivering the Crossrail project, Europe’s largest civil engineering tunnel project.

The project is the most significant work of its kind since the Jubilee Line Extension and Channel Tunnel Rail Link and will see new Crossrail stations built along the central route of Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, Farringdon, Whitechapel, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf.  The stations will link routes from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

As part of the project, station platforms will be constructed to cater for the 200m-long trains that will operate from the stations.  The project also includes provision for future platform extensions, which will enable the Crossrail stations to cater for longer trains as the number of passengers using the service increases.  Between Paddington and Whitechapel, up to 24 trains per hour will operate during peak periods.

It is predicted that the new route will increase the travel capacity of the capital by 10%. Once completed, an additional 1.5 million people will be within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business areas.

Tunnelling is due to commence in March 2012 and it is estimated that a total of 21km of twin-bore tunnel will be constructed under London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This crucial project that I fought for will be of huge importance to the future of our city and these contracts will provide an immediate boost to employment in the UK.”

It is expected that the project will generate up to 14,000 jobs during 2013 and 2015. Crossrail’s central section will be delivered in 2018 and a phased introduction of services along the Crossrail route will follow.

Liverpool Street and Whitechapel

 Located underneath London Underground’s existing Liverpool Street and Moorgate station, Liverpool Street Station will soon serve London’s major financial centre – the City of London.

Once the project is complete, the station will provide interchanges for Northern, Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.  In addition, there will be connections to Stansted airport and links to National Rail services.

A new ticket hall will be constructed in order to provide step-free access from street level to Crossrail platforms, whilst a stairway will also be constructed directly beneath an existing escalator adjacent to the Northern Line.  As a result, a connection will be provided between Crossrail and the Northern Line at Moorgate.

Other improvements include a replacement Communications Equipment Room, a new Powerlink substation and the creation of a number of switch rooms.

Mott Macdonald is the lead design consultant on the project and is responsible for mechanical and electrical systems, enabling, civil and structural works, passenger modelling, space-proofing and architectural work.

The main construction contract for Liverpool Street station will be awarded during 2012.

At Whitechapel, the new Crossrail station will be located to the north of the existing station and will use the existing Whitechapel Road entrance to the underground and overground stations. In addition, a new ticket-hall will be created in order to provide step-free access to Crossrail, London Underground and London Overground.

The main construction contract was awarded during 2011 to Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Morgan Sindall and VINCI Construction UK.

Thames Tunnel

 The Thames Tunnel will be built underneath the River Thames and will significantly improve journey times from south east London to central London.

Built 15m below the existing river bed, the tunnel will be 2.6km long. Portals will be constructed at either end of the tunnel at North Woolwich and Plumstead and the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be launched in late 2012. Following construction work in 2011 on the Plumstead Portal, the North Woolwich Portal construction will begin in early 2012. .

Hochtief Construction AG and J Murphy & Sons Ltd have been awarded the prestigious contract.

About the author

Premier Construction

Leave a Comment