London & South East Premier Rail

Crossrail: Thames Tunnel

Crossrail: Thames Tunnel
Written by Roma Publications

Crossrail: Thames Tunnel

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. The project is currently passed the halfway point.

Crossrail Chief Executive, Andrew Wolstenholme, said:

“Crossrail will help to transform Woolwich, supporting regeneration, reducing journey times and creating new transport links for local people. From 2018, up to 12 services an hour will allow passengers to travel to Canary Wharf, the City and the West End without having to change trains.”

One important aspect in the next stage of the Crossrail project is the C310 Thames Tunnel – Plumstead to North Woolwich scheme.

Scheduled to reach completion this year, the scheme is helping to link the east and west London rail routes and is being delivered by main contractor Hochtief Murphy JV. The £260 million project comprises the construction of tunnels which will connect Plumstead to North Woolwich, linking the existing north Kent rail line to the new Crossrail scheme.

Crossrail: Thames Tunnel

In summer 2014 it was announced that the C310 Thames Tunnel project had reached an important milestone with the successful and safe completion of the tunnelling works. Hochtief Murphy JV delivered the final section of the completed tunnel at North Woolwich Portal in May, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP, visiting the site in June to congratulate the team as part of the tunnel’s official unveiling.

Speaking from the site, the Chancellor, said:

“As part of our long term economic plan we are investing in infrastructure around the country to create a more balanced, resilient economy. Crossrail is not only providing extra speed and capacity for London’s passengers, but also supporting new housing, jobs and businesses.”

Lifting Projects UK was responsible for the provision of contract lifting services on the project. This included the de-installation of Mary, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which has been in use at the North Woolwich site.

Chris Turner of Lifting Projects UK was appointed the person in charge of lifting the first TBM out of the portal at North Woolwich. Chris’s work was audited by the project team and all paperwork was found not only to be in place, but of a high standard. All lifts were executed professionally and safely, and with health and safety best practice shown at all times.

Such has been the success of the scheme so far, the project has become the first Crossrail Area East Contract to notch up a Green Line Award. The prestigious award was given to the Hochtief Murphy JV team because they introduced a number of innovative solutions to the work. In addition, the team made a few alterations to the design which has helped reduce carbon emissions across the scheme.

The remainder of the project is now focusing on the construction of the remaining portals in Plumstead, as well as the construction of Woolwich Station. At Woolwich Station, Hochtief Murphy JV is responsible for concrete works, the construction of platforms and the installation of ventilation systems.

It is estimated that Crossrail will generate at least 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs around the UK. Three out of five businesses currently winning work on the project are based outside London and over half (58%) are small and medium sized enterprises.

For more information about the Crossrail scheme, please visit:

Tarrant Specialist Earthing Ltd

Tarrant Specialist Earthing specialise in the earthing, lighting protection, steeplejacks and installation of fall arrest systems and have been in operation for over 35 years. Since their inception the firm have established an impressive portfolio working for clients such as Arriva, Balfour Beatty Rail and Network Rail.

On the Plumstead and North Woolwich portals the firm undertook an array of tasks including installing fall arrest systems and lightning protection. The firm also undertook various repair and demolition works.

Adrian Tarrant, the Director of Tarrant Specialist Earthing, commented:

“This is a very prestigious contract and important in respect of the growth of our company within not just the rail industry, but generally within the construction industry in the London area.

“We pride ourselves in our immediate response to our clients and out professional, no-nonsense approach to each and every client and contract.”


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