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Crossrail documentary: The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway

BBC TWO’s The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway returns for a third series on Wednesday 13 February 2019 at 9pm.

Crossrail provided exclusive access to the BBC’s producers Windfall Films over the last 18 months as construction of the railway progressed under London. They followed engineering challenges and milestones including completion of the glass station canopy at Paddington, escalator installation at Bond Street and dynamic testing. The new series also covers the decision by Crossrail Ltd. that it was no longer possible to open the central section in December 2018. 

The first series of The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway aired in 2014 and followed workers as Crossrail tunnelled under London and constructed the new stations. The popularity of this series led to the BBC commissioning series two which became the most watched programme on BBC TWO in 2017. In the last series viewers followed the project as Crossrail installed permanent track and moved forward with the stations and manufacture by Bombardier Transportation of the new class 345 trains in Derby.

• Episode one will aired on Wednesday 13 February at 9pm on BBC TWO

This episode included platform screen door installation, the start of dynamic testing, ventilation fan installation at Canary Wharf and driver training.

• Episode two will aired Wednesday 20 February at 9pm on BBC TWO

This episode featured cable installation at Tottenham Court Road and permanent power switch-on, glass canopy installation at Paddington, driver training and escalator installation at Bond Street.

Visit www.bbc.co.uk/crossrail for more information about the programme.


Fifteen Billion Pound Railway - Series 2

Fifteen Billion Pound Railway carousel image

The second series of The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway aired in May 2017.

The first episode in series two follows workers as they complete 26 miles of tunnels, install permanent track under the Barbican, construct the new ticket hall at Whitechapel and welcome Her Majesty the Queen to Bond Street. The episode also follows archaeologists as they uncover a Roman road at Liverpool Street.

Episode two looks at the construction of the new stations at Tottenham Court Road and Paddington, the design heritage of London’s transport network and visits Bombardier Transportation in Derby with Transport for London where the new state-of-the art Elizabeth line trains are being manufactured.

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Fifteen Billion Pound Railway - Series 1

Ed Batty - Shift Engineer, Crossrail Western Tunnels_149858

The first series of The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway aired in July 2014 and followed workers as they tunnelled under London, re-built the Victorian Connaught Tunnel in the Royal Docks and constructed the cathedral-sized new station at Canary Wharf.


The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway is produced by Windfall Films for the BBC and the Open University.

The first series has been released on DVD. It can be ordered via the London Transport Museum shop and Amazon.

Visit the BBC website for further information about the show.