Designed to transform rail transport across London, Crossrail is a £14.8bn project that covers 38 designated stations with the aim of increasing capacity, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times. Once completed in 2018, nine new stations will have been created as part of the project, including Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Custom House.
Work started on Crossrail in May 2009 and once work is complete an additional 1.5 million people will be able to access key areas of the capital within just 45 minutes. It is estimated that Crossrail is generating at least 75,000 business opportunities and is supporting the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs around the UK.
In August 2016, the Crossrail project awarded the last of its major contracts, signalling the end of one of the UK’s biggest ever procurement programmes. The huge procurement process awarded more than 100 contracts for a wide range of work including tunnelling, station construction and railway systems.
The final major contract, for a maintenance facility at Plumstead, was awarded to a Joint Venture comprising Alstom Transport (UK) Limited, TSO S.A.S and Costain Limited. The facility at Plumstead will house the staff and the equipment required for the maintenance and upkeep of the tracks and other infrastructure in the tunnels below London. The value of the contract is in the region of £26 million.
Crossrail has used the procurement process, not just to deliver a world class railway, but also to drive economic, environmental and social sustainability through its supply chain. Tier 1 contractors have, for example, been required to provide apprenticeships and jobs for previously unemployed people, to re-use excavated material sustainably and to ensure that HGVs delivering to site are fitted with industry-leading safety measures.
Crossrail has also worked hard to encourage firms of all sizes and from all regions of the UK to bid for work in the supply chain. Dozens of events have been held around the country and all contracts have been advertised on the free procurement service CompeteFor to maximise the opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As a result, 62% of companies in the project’s supply chain are based outside London and 63% are SMEs.
As part of Crossrail’s Learning Legacy initiative, information and key learnings have also been shared with the teams developing the supply chain for High Speed 2. This is part of a broader approach to share the techniques and knowledge with other major UK infrastructure projects.
Simon Wright, Programme Director at Crossrail said: “The procurement of billions of pounds worth of work for the Crossrail programme has been a monumental exercise.
“We have used the procurement process as a way of ensuring world class standards in the construction of the new railway as well as value for money for the taxpayer. The contracts we’ve signed with our principle contractors have also set the future standard for major UK infrastructure projects, helping us to deliver more than 550 apprenticeships, reducing our impact on the environment and spreading the economic benefits of the project.”
Spotlight: Transforming Ilford Station
Network Rail has submitted proposals for a new station building in Ilford as part of the improvements being delivered for the Crossrail project. The proposals submitted to the London Borough of Redbridge include: a new spacious building with a striking glass façade that will let natural light to flood into the station; a larger ticket hall with a wide entrance and significantly longer gateline; and new lifts providing step-free access from street level to all platforms.
The new station building has been designed to stand out as a recognisable landmark on Cranbrook Road and to be a prominent building that is visible from the surrounding area. Further improvements will also be delivered to prepare the station for the start of Elizabeth line services including longer platforms, improved lighting, signage, customer information points, CCTV and overhead information screens.
Transport for London (TfL) has recently opened a new ticket hall at Ilford station on York Road as part of its station upgrades. The London Borough of Redbridge is also carrying out improvements to the appearance of the local area around the station as part of work to improve public spaces.
From May 2017, the first new trains will be progressively introduced between Shenfield in Essex and Liverpool Street Main Line station. From May 2019, up to 12 Elizabeth line trains an hour will allow passengers from Ilford to travel right through central London, making it quicker and easier to get to a range of destinations across the capital.
Matthew White, Crossrail Surface Director said: “These major improvements will make travelling through Ilford station a vastly better experience for the many thousands of people who use it every day. The proposals for the striking façade and new, spacious ticket hall are designed to underline the importance of the station and of the Elizabeth line to the local area.”
Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “This planning application represents a significant step towards preparing Ilford station for the arrival of the new train service. The proposed design not only looks great but will increase capacity and accessibility with the addition of step-free access. This enhanced design will therefore secure Ilford station’s future to meet the expected growth in demand for rail travel.”
Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council said: “The arrival of the Elizabeth line will represent a milestone game changing moment for Ilford. Commuting times will be slashed and the Elizabeth line will rapidly link us to the City, West End and Heathrow Airport. The new landmark Ilford Elizabeth line station will enhance Ilford’s fast-improving status as an emerging and well-connected place to live.
“The Crossrail project is proving to be a fantastic catalyst for regeneration and we’re maximising the benefits as Ilford becomes a location of choice for developers and investors. Ilford Town Centre has a designated Housing Zone which will provide over 2,000 new homes including 600 affordable homes and we’re driving through major street improvements which will revitalise the Town Centre.”
Mark Woodcock, Associate Architect at Atkins, which has designed the new station building, said: “The new station design seeks to become the starting point for a wider regeneration plan for the London Borough of Redbridge. It is designed to be a significant presence, not only visible from Cranbrook Road, but also from Balfour Road and Ilford Hill, from where the station with its sloping and projecting curved roofline and glazed lift tower is intended to act as a common converging point from these routes.”
For more information about Crossrail, please visit: www.crossrail.co.uk.
Dr. Sauer & Partners
Dr. Sauer & Partners is an independent consultancy specialising in urban tunnelling for rail infrastructure projects. Founded more than 30 years ago in Austria by Dr. Gerhard Sauer, the company conducts work on stations, crossovers, cross passages, ventilation, access, launch caverns and shafts.
Over the past three decades, Dr. Sauer & Partners has become renowned as the worldwide leader in tunnel engineering, delivering innovative, cost-effective and environmentally-aware design solutions for some of the world’s most complex tunnelling projects (Metro, Highway, Water, Rail and Mining). More recently, Dr. Sauer & Partners has worked for Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall for Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade, for Dragados at Bank, for Costain Laing O’Rourke at Bond Street Station Upgrade and for BFK on Crossrail.
For the C435 Farringdon Station Crossrail project, Dr. Sauer & Partners provided the SCL detailed design and supervision, 3D geotechnical modelling, geotechnical interpretation and risk management of SCL Tunnels.
Commenting on the project, Becky Hayward, Marketing Manager for Dr. Sauer & Partners, said:
“As Farringdon was located below the well-defined London Clay strata, in the water-bearing Lambeth Group, it was considered the most complex piece of SCL Tunnelling on Crossrail. This provided our company with the opportunity to showcase our special expertise and capability to develop innovative solutions directly for the contractor.”
“At Dr. Sauer & Partners, we are passionate about solving the engineering puzzle, working closely with both clients and owners.”