The Crossrail programme - Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, is now over 85 per cent complete. With the new Elizabeth line railway set to open through central London in December 2018, the programme is running on time and on schedule to be delivered within its £14.8 billion budget.
All of the permanent Elizabeth line track has been installed throughout the central section. With the track fully laid, the £14.8 billion project has entered a new phase as construction trains are now able to travel the full length of both new tunnels from end to end.
Over the course of the next year, the railway and new stations will continue to take shape as the tunnels are furnished with over 15,000km of cable which will deliver power, lighting and communications systems through the tunnels. Over 4km of full height platform edge screens will be fitted at stations. This will help with the circulation of air and to maintain temperature levels along with huge vent fans that will be installed at 18 locations across the route.
Since the construction of the new railway began in 2009, over 15,000 men and women have worked on the project and over 100 million working hours have been completed. Over 1,000 apprenticeships have also been delivered by the Crossrail programme.
FITTING OUT THE RAILWAY
A dedicated team of engineers is working around the clock to install the railway systems that will transform the new tunnels and stations into the UK’s newest railway.
This includes the installation of tunnel ventilation, power, signalling, communications and overhead line equipment.
TEN NEW STATIONS IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST LONDON
New stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood are being built.
Each of the ten new stations will have its own, distinct character, conceived by different architects, which reflect the environment and heritage of the local area. However, at platform level, common design components such as seating, signage and full-height platform screen doors will create a consistent and familiar feel to the rest of the TfL network.
26 MILES OF NEW RAIL TUNNEL UNDER LONDON
Crossrail is the first complete new underground line in more than 30 years. Crossrail tunnelling began in the summer of 2012 and ended at Farringdon with the break through of tunnelling machine Victoria. Eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored 26 miles or 42 km of new 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under London.
UPGRADES TO THE EXISTING RAIL NETWORK
Around three quarters of the route will run above ground on the existing rail network in outer London, Berkshire and Essex.
On these sections of the route, Network Rail is delivering a £2.3bn investment as part of the Crossrail programme to add capacity, improve reliability, upgrade stations and electrify sections of the Great Western Main Line.