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Moving Ahead, January 2017

Welcome to the January 2017 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, January 2017

We begin 2017 excited about the next phase of Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

The year has started with the successful delivery of an extensive programme of works on the existing rail network. Completed over Christmas by Network Rail, these works included the opening of a second ramp at Stockley Flyover, a new dive under at Acton and station upgrade works at various sites on the east and west sections of the route.

In the year ahead, railway fit-out works in the new tunnels will continue to be a key focus. From February, we will start seeing the installation of glazed platform screen doors inside the eight new sub-surface stations, a key feature of the design of the Elizabeth line.

Architectural fit-out will continue at all our new stations, bringing to life the distinct character of each. At the same time, the major station overhauls and upgrades on the outer western and eastern ends of the route will gain pace together with public space improvement works at 40 sites along the railway.

Production of the new Class 345 trains continues in Derby, alongside extensive testing of the new trains at the Ilford depot. The first trains will be introduced on the existing TfL Rail service, running from Liverpool Street (Main Line) to Shenfield in May.

By the summer, all new tracks inside the tunnels will be complete. In the autumn, power will begin to be switched on for first time inside the new tunnels to allow the testing of new trains under the city.

Two major public exhibitions are offering unique insight into the project. More than 500 archaeological finds discovered during construction will be on display from February at the Museum of London Docklands. At the London Transport Museum, visitors can get a glimpse of station design and public art on the Elizabeth line. The exhibition includes station models and architectural and art samples.

We have come a long way since construction began in 2009 – and there is a long way to go before the first trains run through central London in December 2018. The Crossrail project is now over 80% complete and each day we get closer to delivering a new railway for London and the South East.

Moving Ahead, January 2017_infographics


Tunnel archaeology carousel image

Crossrail’s construction programme has resulted in one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever undertaken in the UK. The scale of the project has given archaeologists a unique opportunity to learn about London’s history.

Since the start of construction, more than 10,000 objects from prehistory to the present day have been unearthed. This has given archaeologists significant insight into our past, from early geological changes, to the habits of Roman London, the DNA of the Great Plague and Black Death and beyond.

Crossrail archaeology in numbers infographic_258626

Following the completion of the main excavation works on the project, Crossrail’s archaeology programme is now coming to a close. Marking the end of this exciting chapter, more than 500 archaeological objects discovered on the project will go on display alongside the story of the great feat of engineering in a new, free exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands.

Archaeology finds map_258625


Floating tracks and architectural features at Tottenham Court Road

Lighting in the western ticket hall at Tottenham Court Road _257370

900 metres of floating track slab has been installed at Tottenham Court Road station. This stretch of railway is one of two sections that require floating tracks to help minimise noise and vibration from the operational railway, where concert halls and recording studios are located directly above.

In the upper levels, the architectural fit-out of the ticket halls is bringing the distinct character of both ends of the station to life. Black polished granite terrazzo wall panels and bespoke lighting drums inspired by West End nightlife have been installed in the western ticket hall. Installation of the white glass and concrete panels that will characterise the eastern ticket hall is also underway.

Ceiling complete at Liverpool Street

Architectural ceiling installed within Broadgate ticket hall at Liverpool Street station_252786

The unique ceiling at Liverpool Street is now complete. Formed by 109 geometric, ribbed pre-cast concrete segments, the ceiling has been designed to maximise the sense of space in these underground spaces.

Escalators, flooring and ticket barriers will now be installed to transform these spaces into fully functioning ticket halls.

Farringdon’s diamond shaped ceiling near complete

Farringdon's diamond shaped ceiling nearing completion_258627

Construction of the inclined roof in the western ticket hall is near complete. More than 100 sections of diamond-shaped concrete panels were lifted into place to build this striking ceiling which was inspired by the jewellery sold nearby.

Below ground, installation of the glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels for the platforms’ walls has also been completed. In the station’s ventilation shafts preparation works have begun for the installation of large fans that will help to manage air-flow inside the station.

More than 700 tonnes of bricks installed at Paddington station

Architectural brick walling installed at Paddington station_258630

Brick cladding on walls within the new ticket hall at Paddington is now complete. More than 100 brick slip panels, some weighing up to 10 tonnes, now line these walls.

These panels echo the same 10 foot grid layout in Brunel’s Grade I listed station next door and will help to absorb and manage noise inside the building.

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Getting ready to install platform screen doors

Trials of platform screen door installation at a test facility in Wolverton are complete. These trials have helped refine and streamline the installation process ahead of the screens being fitted out in stations from February. When complete, the eight new sub-surface stations will feature full length platform screens on each platform to separate passengers from moving trains.

Permanent track installation continues with 75 per cent of it now complete. Installation of more than 15,000 kilometres of cables is underway having started in the eastern section of the tunnels following completion of the drilling works in this part of the route.

Network Rail works for Crossrail

An extensive programme of work for Crossrail was delivered on the existing railway by Network Rail over Christmas.

These works, in outer London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex, included the opening of a second ramp for the Stockley Flyover at Heathrow junction and a new dive under at Acton; bringing into use an extended bay platform at Hayes & Harlington, to allow Great Western Railway (GWR) to bring in more new electric trains; track upgrades at Maidenhead and Shenfield; and platform extension work at West Ealing, Southall and Hayes & Harlington.

Electrification works to 12 miles of railway between Maidenhead and Heathrow junction is nearing completion which means rail passengers can look forward to quieter, greener and more efficient journeys.

At Abbey Wood, the iconic timber roof structure for the new station has been completed. Installation of zinc lining around the timber structure is now underway and due to complete in the spring.

The design proposal for the new station building at Ilford was approved by Redbridge Council. The proposal includes a new bright, spacious building with a larger ticket hall and new lifts to provide step-free access from street to platform.

This new building will join to the new ticket hall that was opened at Ilford station on York Road, which was completed in 2016  as part of Transport for London’s upgrade works.

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Installing overhead line electrfication at Old Oak Common depot

Building fit-out is underway at Old Oak Common depot which is to become the maintenance centre for the new fleet of Elizabeth line trains.

Track installation for rail sidings has commenced as have preparation works to connect this facility to the wider rail network. The new home for the fleet of 66 new trains is due to complete in the spring of 2018.


Elizabeth line train Climatic Wind Tunnel testing

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, visited Bombardier’s site to see the production progress of the new Elizabeth line trains as part of his tour of Derbyshire in December. He met with employees and apprentices and had the opportunity to test drive one of the new trains.

The first complete train is now undergoing testing at Ilford depot ahead of entering service in May 2017 on TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Further testing took place in Vienna to trial the train in intense weather conditions.

New Aerial photography

Aerial view of Woolwich station, January 2017_257434

New images published the Crossrail project give a bird’s eye view of the Elizabeth line stations.

With under two years to go until the Elizabeth line opens through central London, the delivery of the new railway remains on time and on budget.

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Look forward to Woolwich

Local history is ever present in the design of the new Woolwich station which is located within the historic site of Royal Arsenal – a once walled off private world that saw the manufacture of guns and explosives, a military college and the production of medals and other civilian goods.

The 276 metre-long box station is located below a major housing development site accessed from Dial Arch Square. Daylight will filter through to the station ticket hall via large glass spans in the ceiling and a 30 metre-wide entrance. The column-free ticket hall will help passengers move easily through to the single-island underground platform.

09 Woolwich station - proposed station entrance on Dial Arch Square_235998

From outside passengers will notice graphic elements of a World War I commemorative plaque once forged on the site, replicated at a large scale and wrapped around the station wall. The motif on the bronze-clad entrance has been inspired by rifles once manufactured here. The use of bronze and bricks reference local architecture, past and present.

The station will open out onto a green space which will be enhanced by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to include new footpaths, seating, bicycle parking and foliage, helping to connect the station with the town centre. The new station has been key to the masterplan for Royal Arsenal, providing 3,750 new homes and new cultural, commercial and leisure opportunities.

Crossrail books: Stories from the Project

Crossrail books covers_hero

Discover stories from Crossrail in a selection of books that offer insight into the archaeology, tunnelling, architecture and design on the project.

Browse the selection available at


  • Friday Late: Urban Fabric, 17 Feb: An exciting event focusing on the fabric that makes up the city. With talks and workshops celebrating the softer side of transport, including talks from Crossrail architects. Visit
  • Discover Crossrail: Take part in the Museum of London’s curated walking tours. Various dates and locations. Visit
  • Acton Open Weekend - Secrets of the Underground, 22-23 Apr: Programme available soon. Visit

Visit the Crossrail events page for information about future Crossrail events.

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