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Crossrail and TfL launch tender process for one of the UK’s biggest station escalator orders

By Peter MacLennan

Crossrail and TfL launch tender process for one of the UK’s biggest station escalator orders
  • Contract worth up to £190m and covers both Crossrail and Tube stations

  • Over 100 new escalators could be needed during coming years

  • Joint procurement being undertaken by Crossrail and TfL to realise significant cost savings

  • Requirements could be increased as contract also open to the entire TfL group

  • Tender process for Crossrail station lifts to deliver step-free access to get underway in late July

Crossrail and Transport for London (TfL) has launched its first joint procurement process - covering the provision of escalators for the Tube network and the new Crossrail stations in central London. The scale of the contract is such that it will almost certainly be one of the biggest orders ever placed in the UK for station escalators.

A notice has been placed in the Official Journal of the European Union seeking expressions of interest for the design, manufacture, installation and long-term maintenance of over 100 escalators. The contract is worth up to £190m.

Escalators on London’s transport network operate for over 18 hours a day and are intensively used so need to be built to last. The cost of designing, building and maintaining a single escalator is over £1m. TfL and Crossrail are undertaking a joint procurement for this major escalator order to realise significant cost savings that would not otherwise be achieved if separate, smaller orders were placed. Savings will also be realised by the adoption of a more standard escalator design across TfL and Crossrail.

Construction of the new Crossrail stations in central London is underway and the first of the main construction contracts will be awarded this summer. The contract covers the provision of escalators for Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel and for stations across the Tube network.

It is envisaged that around 60 escalators will be required for the Crossrail stations in central London with around 45 escalators required for London Underground’s major escalator replacement programme.

The contract is also open to the whole TfL group and could be extended further to meet the future needs of Docklands Light Railway, London Overground as well as Tube maintenance firm Tube Lines.

Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director, said: “2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the first escalator being installed on the Tube network at Earl’s Court. Every day millions of passengers on London’s transport network are reliant on escalators to get them to and from station platforms. Crossrail will carry over 200 million passengers each year when it opens and escalators will play a crucial role in getting passengers into the massive new stations and onto trains that will whisk them across London.

“During the coming years, Crossrail and London Underground could need over 100 new escalators and this contract is likely to be the UK’s largest single order for station escalators. A joint procurement process is being undertaken by Crossrail and TfL with the aim of achieving significant cost savings that would not otherwise be realised if separate smaller orders were placed.”

Richard Parry, LU’s Strategy and Commercial Director, said: “We are engaged in a massive programme to upgrade the Tube which will, with Crossrail, see transport capacity increase by more than 30 per cent over the next ten years. This partnership with Crossrail demonstrates the benefits we can bring by adopting a joined-up and long-term approach to improving London’s transport infrastructure in the most efficient way possible.”

Under this contract, installation of new escalators for the Tube network is due to begin in late 2013 with work underway from 2015 at the Crossrail stations. The Invitation to Tender will be issued later this year. The closing date for expressions of interest is 13 July 2011.


For further information please contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email:

About Crossrail:

Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. 

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East. Latest economic forecasts suggest that Crossrail will add £42bn to the economy. Previous estimates were that Crossrail would deliver up to a £36bn boost to the UK economy.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

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