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HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Farringdon Crossrail station

By Peter MacLennan

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Farringdon Crossrail station

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, went below ground in central London today to view progress on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.

The Duke of Edinburgh was shown around the new Crossrail station taking shape 30 metres below Farringdon, and met some of the apprentices, construction workers and engineers delivering the station.

On his tour, His Royal Highness saw the recently completed tunnels being waterproofed and the final concrete finish being applied. The Duke of Edinburgh was also shown a recently excavated escalator shaft, and walked along the new platforms which are nearing completion.

At 300 metres, Farringdon station’s platforms will be the longest on the Crossrail route with ticket halls either side of the historic Smithfield Market connecting to both Barbican and Farringdon London Underground stations.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “Crossrail is one of the most ambitious and complex infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. It was an honour to welcome The Duke of Edinburgh to Crossrail to see first hand the scale of the engineering being delivered below the streets of London and to meet the UK’s next generation of engineers.”

More than 10,000 people are currently working directly on Crossrail at around 40 construction sites. 485 apprenticeships have been created and more than 4,000 local people have gained employment on the project, 1 in 4 of whom were previously not in employment.

With the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, Farringdon will become one of the UK’s busiest rail hubs. Passengers will be able to change onto London Underground and upgraded and expanded Thameslink services, giving direct access to three of London’s five airports and international rail services at St Pancras. Passengers will also benefit from quicker journeys and will be able to travel to Tottenham Court Road in three minutes, Canary Wharf in nine minutes and Heathrow in just over 30 minutes.

Crossrail will add 10% capacity to central London’s rail network. It will serve 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. TfL-run Crossrail services through central London will commence in December 2018. An estimated 200 million passengers will travel on Crossrail each year.

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk