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Key milestones for Crossrail project during 2016

By Peter MacLennan

Key milestones for Crossrail project during 2016
  • Crossrail programme is over 70 per cent complete and is being delivered on time and within budget
  • Installation of permanent track in Crossrail tunnels will complete in 2016
  • First test train to be built in Derby and tested

During 2016, the major fit-out of the new tunnels and stations will continue and the first Crossrail train will roll off the production line for testing.

Eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored 42 kilometres of new 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under London. Another 14 kilometres of new passenger, platform and service tunnels have been constructed using a technique called sprayed concrete lining.

Fit-out of the tunnels, shafts and portals is underway and construction continues to advance on the ten new Crossrail stations. Platform construction is more than 50 per cent complete and the installation of the structures to support the platform screen doors has begun at several stations including Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.

With three quarters of the Crossrail route running above ground, Network Rail will continue to prepare the existing railway in outer London, Berkshire and Essex for the arrival of Crossrail. In 2016, this major programme of surface works will include upgrades to track and electrification of key sections of the Crossrail route alongside the redevelopment of several stations, including Ealing Broadway.

Transport for London (TfL) has been operating the services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield since last May, while station and track work along this route continues in preparation for the new Crossrail trains. This year TfL will start station improvement works at a number of stations along the route including at Ilford, Manor Park and Seven Kings. These will include deep cleans, remodelling and repainting as well as improved signage and lighting.

The Crossrail test train is being constructed in Derby by Bombardier and will go through a rigorous testing programme before the first train enters service in May 2017. The trains will be 200 metres long and able to carry 1,500 passengers with walk through carriages.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Crossrail is over 70 per cent complete and is being delivered on time and within budget. Following the completion of tunnelling last year, Crossrail’s focus is now on the complex task of fitting out the new tunnels and stations with the necessary infrastructure and railway systems to enable TfL-run services to commence through central London in 2018. This includes the installation of the permanent track, high voltage power, tunnel ventilation, signalling and overhead line equipment.”

Howard Smith, TfL’s Operations Director of Crossrail, said: “This will be a crucial year for the project as we progress towards the start of Crossrail services with new trains running on tracks from May 2017. It is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved on a project that the Mayor fought to secure the funding for, and which has operated around the clock since construction began, that everything is progressing on time and on budget.”

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “As momentum grows on this transformational project, excellent progress continues to be made. With the first Crossrail trains on course to be delivered through the central section from December 2018, the project is one step closer to delivering quicker and better journeys for customers. The end result will be a 10% boost in central London’s rail capacity.

“This year will see the cutting edge Crossrail train designs become a UK-built reality, the final tracks laid in brand new tunnels, and more stations fitted out with world-class facilities. Their construction is helping to unlock new investment, encourage regeneration and grow local economies.”

Upcoming Crossrail milestones include:

  • Installation of the permanent track in Crossrail’s tunnels will conclude during 2016. Over 50km of new track will be laid in total using a fleet of customised machines. Work will commence on the installation of over 4km of platform screen doors and 1.5 million metres of cabling will be used in the delivery of mechanical and electrical systems like overhead line equipment to power the trains and to supply high voltage power to the stations. The complex task of furnishing the tunnels and stations with ventilation, signalling systems, communications and everything else that is required to run Crossrail’s new trains beneath the streets of London will continue throughout 2016.
  • Construction of the major new Crossrail depot at Old Oak Common will continue ahead of the completion of the first part in 2017.
  • Bombardier will complete the first Crossrail trains for TfL at their facility in Derby in 2016 before they are tested on tracks ready for delivery to London for entry into service in May 2017.
  • This year TfL will appoint the contractors to provide step-free access at Maryland, Manor Park and Seven Kings stations.
  • The first package of station improvements carried out by TfL will improve stations on the above ground sections of Crossrail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield throughout the year. This includes opening up station ticket halls, gating, improved signage and lighting as well as repainting and tiling.
  • Step-free access works will also begin at stations along the TfL Rail route from this summer.
  • Significant works to create a new interchange at Paddington between the existing Underground station and the new Crossrail station will take place between April and August.
  • A new station entrance is already in place at Whitechapel station to allow for Crossrail works.
  • Network Rail will continue major surface works on the existing rail network. The construction of new ticket halls will begin at stations including Ealing Broadway, Hayes & Harlington and Southall. A new diveunder at Acton will be complete by the end of 2016 and other major trackwork across the route and electrification in west London and Berkshire will continue.
  • Passengers will be given a glimpse of the future when the final Crossrail station designs are released during a series of major design exhibitions.
  • The field work for the UK’s largest archaeology project will conclude, and as the lab analysis progresses the first findings will be published in a series of books.
  • Crossrail will launch its Learning Legacy website in spring 2016 as a resource for UK construction and to help inform future infrastructure projects. The portal will collate knowledge and the lessons learned during the construction of Crossrail.
  • Crossrail will deliver more than 3 million sq. ft. of commercial, residential and retail property above Crossrail sites across London. Development partners will be procured for the remaining five over-site developments during 2016 and Crossrail will submit its final planning application in central London for a 256,000 sq. ft. office scheme at Liverpool Street.
  • The Crossrail Art Programme will finalise the remaining funding partners and artists for large-scale permanent art-work at seven new central London stations.

London’s population is set to grow from 8.4 million today to around 10 million by 2030. The Government, the Mayor of London and TfL are investing in Crossrail and other transport infrastructure to support access to jobs, education, and housing to boost economic growth.

Crossrail will add 10 per cent 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.


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

Key Crossrail milestones to date include:

  • Start of Crossrail construction began at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009.
  • The first giant tunnel boring machine broke ground in May 2012 and completed tunnelling in May 2015. 42 kilometres of new train tunnels have been created under London. Another 14 kilometres of new passenger, platform and service tunnels have been constructed within the new Crossrail stations using a technique called sprayed concrete lining.
  • The surface works, delivered by Network Rail, are now over half complete.
  • All 40 Crossrail stations will have step free access from street to platform.
  • Over 500 apprentices have gained work on Crossrail. 12,000 people have undertaken training at Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which opened in 2011.
  • Crossrail rolling stock and depot contract awarded by Transport for London to Bombardier Transportation and Crossrail train operating concession awarded to MTR Corporation.
  • On 31 May 2015, rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield joined the TfL network. This is the first phase of the introduction of Crossrail, which will be fully integrated with TfL services. Customers now benefit from stations staffed at all times trains are operating as well as better accessibility provision with turn up and go services being offered for those who need ramps to board trains. 
  • TfL revealed their innovative design of the new Crossrail train, due to enter service from May 2017.
  • Alongside the physical railway a ‘digital version’ of Crossrail is being built using Business Information Modelling (BIM). This will be passed on to the train operator, helping to reduce long-term maintenance and operating costs, and to other major UK infrastructure projects to assist planning and design.
  • Excavated items from the UK’s largest archaeology programme include skeletons from Bethlehem Hospital burial ground, 55 million year-old amber, Roman artefacts and industrial-era factories.
  • The Culture Line, a programme to deliver a permanent exhibition of large-scale world-class artworks in Crossrail’s central London stations is being delivered in collaboration with leading art galleries. The City of London Corporation is 50 per cent match funding the art works.

About Crossrail

The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. 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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