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Building the station tunnels

Fourteen kilometres of station and platform tunnels, passenger walkways and other spaces are being created through another mining technique known as sprayed concrete lining.

Sprayed concrete lining is used where the underground spaces required are bigger, smaller or less uniform than the tunnels created by the tunnel boring machines.

These tunnels are excavated in short sections, using a variety of machines operated by highly skilled engineers.

2 Bond Street platform tunnels _161013

The sprayed concrete lining method has been used extensively on Crossrail to form each of the station platform tunnels, cross-passages between the platform tunnels, ventilation tunnels, concourse tunnels, cross-over caverns and ventilation, escape and intervention shafts across the central section of the route.  

The technique involves spraying a quick setting form of concrete strengthened with steel fibres onto freshly excavated ground to seal the new tunnels.  Further layers are added to make the surface watertight creating a permanent structure some 65cm thick.

This process enables huge underground spaces and curved walls to be created. Crossrail’s passengers will see the result of all this work in the stations when the railway is open in 2018.

Farringdon Station sprayed concrete lining works

Five of Crossrail’s central London stations are being created using a well established technique known as ‘Sprayed Concrete Lining’ to create new station tunnels – Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel. 

The stations are typically 250 to 300m in length and have been constructed at depths to "tunnel crown" up to approximately 30m below street level.  The stations are located in the central London area in areas of dense urban development.

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Building the rail tunnels

Building the rail tunnels

Three years of tunnelling beneath the capital to construct 26 miles of new rail tunnels

Meet our giant tunnelling machines

Meet our giant tunnelling machines

Digging the new tunnels was a 24-hour a day job, 7 days a week. Crossrail used eight tunnel boring machines (TBMs)... Read more

Beneficially re-using material excavated during Crossrail's construction

Beneficially re-using material excavated during Crossrail's construction

A total of 7 million tonnes of material will be excavated during the construction of Crossrail, 98% of all excavated... Read more

Near You

Near You

Explore Crossrail's stations, tunnels and archaeological works Near You