Welcome to the October 2016 edition of Moving Ahead. This project update is issued four times a year to keep you informed about progress on the Crossrail project.
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Crossrail Project Update, October 2016
The project is more than 75% complete. There is a huge amount of work underway to complete the stations and fit-out the physical infrastructure with the systems required to turn it into an operational railway.
Over the summer, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, made the first station to station journey from Custom House to Canary Wharf where he saw the newly completed tracks. More than half of the new track has now been successfully laid, and nearly all of the platform structures – which will give step-free access to the 200 metre long trains in the 10 new stations – have been built.
In the new tunnels and stations, the distinct features that passengers will experience when they travel on the Elizabeth line from December 2018 are becoming more apparent.
Architectural features such as the curved concrete wall cladding that is characteristic of the underground platforms, the timber beams of Abbey Wood station and the green roof structure at Whitechapel station can now be seen. More of these bespoke designs will come to life as the programme to deliver London’s newest railway progresses. Some 1,800 people caught a glimpse of these features during Open House Weekend in September. You can discover the story of stations, art and public space on the Elizabeth line in the design line exhibition at the London Transport Museum.
The remainder of the delivery programme will present new challenges as we progress with railway fit-out works such as installation of tracks, platform screens, tunnel ventilation, power, signalling, communications and overhead line equipment. The Elizabeth line will be vital to the future success of the capital and we’re fully focused on completing the project safely, on time and on budget.
In just over two years the first passenger trains will through the centre of London - the new railway is on its way.
Andrew Wolstenholme, CEO Crossrail Ltd
WEAVING LONDON'S NEW RAILWAY INTO THE COMMUNITIES IT SERVES
Crossrail is designing public space and above-ground developments in addition to new stations, so that it can knit the new infrastructure into the local communities it serves. It is working with local Boroughs and businesses to improve public space at 40 sites and with developers to build new homes, offices and retails units at 12 key sites.
ENHANCING PUBLIC SPACE AROUND STATIONS: The urban realm improvements include pedestrian priority areas, wider footpaths, step-free access, improved lighting and signage, trees, seating and cycle stands – all to create places that people enjoy and make getting around the stations easier.
NEW OFFICES, HOMES AND RETAIL: The proposed designs of homes, retail units and offices at 12 sites above or near the new central London stations take inspiration from local communities and surrounding architecture.
Gallery - above ground property developments
CENTRAL STATIONS UPDATE
Whitechapel station takes shape: Demolition of the old ticket hall is now complete, making way for construction of the new, larger integrated ticket hall and concourse. Construction of the new building has included installation of more than 300 tonnes of steel and concrete for what will become part of the green roof and station concourse. The ventilation shaft at Cambridge Heath Road is also now structurally complete, allowing for building fit-out to commence.
Architectural finishes on display at Farringdon: Installation of the distinctive curved concrete cladding of the new tunnels is underway in both platforms. The curved, sweeping edges will minimise blind spots, helping people move safely and comfortably through these spaces. At the eastern ticket hall, the secondary lining of the new escalator and inclined lift shaft has been cast. When the station opens, there will be two escalators and the inclined lift allowing step-free access from this ticket hall to the platform.
Tunnel walls being clad at Tottenham Court Road: Installation of the steel framework supporting the concrete cladding of the tunnel platforms and cross-passages is underway alongside the railway fit out works. The glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels will be installed through the autumn. Following structural completion of the western ventilation shaft in the summer, the building is now being fitted-out with its first permanent passenger lift and fibre-communications cables.
Woolwich station achieves structural completion: Construction of the main station structure is now complete, marking a major programme milestone. Work is now underway to prepare for the installation of bespoke asymmetric pre-cast beams that will span the ticket hall ceiling. The completion of this activity also marks the start of the station’s mechanical and electrical fit out. This has included installation of the first three of six permanent fans in the eastern ventilation building.
More than 50% of the new tracks installed
Half of the permanent track for the new railway has now been laid. The new tracks between Plumsted portal and Stepney Green junction were installed using multipurpose gantries and a 465 metre-long concreting train.
Eighty per cent of the new tracks are fixed to a concrete bed, but areas particularly sensitive to noise are being fitted out with floating track slab installed to reduce vibrations.
NETWORK RAIL WORKS FOR CROSSRAIL
Installation of the new timber roof is now underway as part of the works to build a new landmark station at Abbey Wood.
The new Kent-bound platform has come into use, marking the completion of tracks and platforms used by Southeastern services. Passengers using this service are now benefitting from improved seating, lighting and shelter when boarding and alighting trains as well as new customer information screens and CCTV cameras.
Between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, platform extension works and CCTV installation continues as does the work to remodel a key junction at Shenfield, which will help deliver more reliable journeys for passengers.
Electrification work is progressing in the west with most of the steel gantries now in place and the overhead wires, which will power the new trains, being installed throughout the autumn.
NEW TRAINS BEING TESTED IN DERBY
The first of the new Elizabeth line trains has been unveiled by Transport for London. A fleet of 66 new trains will operate on the Elizabeth line when it opens from 2018. The first trains will enter service in May 2017 on TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
The first trains will be seven carriages and 160 metres long, to fit existing platforms at Liverpool Street. The nine carriage, 200 metre-long trains, which can carry up to 1,500 people, will be introduced from May 2018, between Heathrow and Paddington and will run along the entire route in 2019.
ILFORD STATION’S REVAMPED TICKET HALL OPENS AT YORK ROAD
A renovated ticket hall at Ilford station is now open, providing an alternative to the existing main entrance. The new entrance provides a welcoming and secure environment for customers accessing the station from the north side, with a new ticket machine, lighting, CCTV and real-time updates on customer information screens.
The main station entrance on Cranbrook Road will also be redesigned and rebuilt by Network Rail, with improvements over the next few years including new lifts, as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
LOOK AHEAD TO FARRINGDON STATION
When the new Farringdon station opens in 2018 it will be one of the busiest in the UK, connecting the Elizabeth line with Thameslink and the London Underground to provide links with outer London, the City, Canary Wharf and three of London’s five airports.
Increased capacity and improved accessibility here will act as a catalyst for economic growth. When complete, it is planned that over 140 trains per hour will flow through the Farringdon interchange.
Local craftsmanship and architecture inspires the design of the new station. Patterns on the ceiling of the western ticket hall are reminiscent of the diamonds and jewellery sold at Hatton Garden, while in the east, a square covered ceiling references the local architecture of the Barbican. Public space around the station’s ticket halls have been designed to maximise pedestrian capacity and help meet predicted passenger demand.
Upcoming Crossrail events and exhibitions
- 55 MILLION YEAR OLD AMBER AND MAMMOTH ON DISPLAY: Two front ends of Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth) jawbone and a piece of Crossrail amber, found more than 25 metres beneath Crossrail’s construction site at Canary Wharf, are now both on display at the Natural History Museum.
- TUNNEL - THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CROSSRAIL: The most complete range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail will go on display next year. A new exhibition, opening on 10 February 2017, will explore 8,000 years of human history, revealing the stories of Londoners ranging from Mesolithic tool makers and inhabitants of Roman Londinium to those affected by the Great Plague of 1665.