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Moving Ahead, October 2017

Welcome to the October 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, October 2017

The Crossrail programme is now 87% complete. Last month, the final section of track was installed at Whitechapel station, completing all new tracks for the railway. The end of permanent track installation enables trains to travel the full length of both new tunnels from end to end and brings us another crucial step closer to the operational railway.

The new Abbey Wood station is now open, marking another milestone on the project. This is one of the 10 new stations being constructed for the Elizabeth line. It is initially providing passengers step-free access to the Southeastern services through a new spacious, brightly-lit ticket hall. Network Rail construction will continue here while they complete the remaining works, which includes new lifts and urban realm improvements. The Elizabeth line services will begin from December 2018, making journeys into central London and beyond, quicker and easier.

Progress continues to be made at all other nine stations in central London and two more buildings have now become visible above the site hoardings. At Bond Street station, installation of the red sandstone columns that will wrap around the western ticket hall can now be seen from the street and at Liverpool Street station, construction of the glazed canopy entrance at Broadgate is also advancing well.

Last month, new insight was released via the Crossrail Learning Legacy website which provides a free resource of learnings from the project. Papers on consultation and stakeholder engagement, the experience of the parliamentary process and developing the funding and financing for the Crossrail scheme are now available. More than 500 documents are online at

The focus over the coming months will remain on completing the new stations and railway fit-out, which includes installation of platform screen doors, signalling, tunnel ventilation and communications systems along with the overhead lines that will power the new trains. It will be a busy period for everyone on the project but the excitement is building as we get closer to delivering London’s newest railway.

Moving Ahead October 2017 infographics

Powering the railway

By the end of 2017 London’s newest railway will start to come alive as power is gradually switched on in the tunnels.

This will take the project into a new phase of the delivery programme and will eventually allow for testing of all new infrastructure ahead of operational testing of the railway and the opening of the Elizabeth line.

Diagram of Elizabeth line tunnel systems.jpg_292036

Green design

A railway requires a significant amount of power to operate. Power saving measures have been incorporated where possible to reduce the energy requirements of the operational railway. This includes design of lightweight energy efficient trains as well as LED lighting in stations, tunnels and trains.

Fitting out the railway


Elizabeth line Route Control Centre at Romford.jpg_292037

Construction and fit-out of the new Elizabeth line route control centre is complete. This facility will be the operational nerve centre for the new service.

When the railway is complete, the route control centre will be supported by twenty station and railway control rooms, which are currently being fitted out with equipment as well as power and communications systems.


Installation of all new permanent track was completed this summer with the final section installed at Whitechapel station.

To commemorate the milestone, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling and Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross joined the team at Whitechapel station – where the final rail clips were affixed to the track by Ellen McGuinness, Track Quality Control Engineer.

Elizabeth line permanent track installation is complete_281243

Over 1,000 people installed 63,000 sleepers, 51,419 metres of rail and over 800 sections of long welded rail. Over 13,500 m3 of concrete was poured by the concreting train fixing the track – enough to fill several Olympic sized swimming pools, was poured by the concreting train as part of the track installation.


Platform screen doors installed at Paddington station_275883

Installation of the full height platform screen doors at Paddington and Bond Street station is complete and installation is currently underway at Canary Wharf, Tottenham Court Road and Woolwich.

New to the underground network, the full height screen doors will separate passengers from track and allow for safe and quick access on and off the trains. The screens will also display real time travel information to help with onward journeys. A total of 3.6 kilometres of platform screen doors will be installed across the new underground stations.



View of Whitechapel station central concourse_290591

Work has started to install 10 new lifts throughout the station that will make Whitechapel station fully accessible from the train to the street.

Above ground the main structural steel skeleton of the new concourse, which sweeps up and over the existing tracks, is now in place. Work continues to fit its glazed sides and the environmentally-friendly green sedum roof by early 2018.

In September, permanent ventilation fans arrived ahead of their installation into the shaft building on Cambridge Heath Road. These machines are a key component of the operational railway and work to keep stations cool and well ventilated.


Liverpool Street station - view of glazed canopy from above.jpg_292038

At Liverpool Street the canopy entrance at Broadgate can now been seen above the hoarding, with the steel elements in place and work underway to install its glazed panels. The five metre high transparent canopy will filter natural light down to the ticket hall.

This site will be one of two ticket halls which provide access to the Elizabeth line. The second ticket hall is at Moorgate.


Bond Street August 2017_279451

Bond Street station is taking shape with the first section of precast columns installed. The columns form the colonnades that will frame the new station entrance at Davies Street.

Made of red sandstone and bronze, they will tie the new station building into the existing environment nearby. Underground, work continues on wall cladding, platform screen doors and escalators.

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Inside the western ticket hall at Farringdon Station_290162

Installation of the glass fibre reinforced concrete cladding, bespoke to underground stations on the Elizabeth line, is now complete in platforms.

The first three of six escalators in the western ticket hall are now fully assembled. There will be a total of 11 escalators and nine lifts across both ticket halls at this station.

See footage of Elizabeth line escalators being installed across the central section of the route.


Paddington station - view of canopy structure.jpg_292039

Paddington’s station canopy continues to take shape as works continue to install the columns and rafters that will support the 120 metre-long glazed artwork by Spencer Finch.

The lift that will provide step-free access from Departures Road down to the station ticket hall is now fully glazed. Work is now underway to complete the bridge that will connect this lift to the new pedestrianised area above the station.

Below ground, all platform screen doors are now in place and work is underway to install the additional infrastructure required to support the operational railway.


New artwork for Farringdon station’s western ticket hall has been revealed by British artist Simon Periton.

Inspired by the nearby Hatton Garden diamond district, Periton designed a sequence of enormous gems which will appear to tumble down and along the interior walls of the ticket hall.

The artwork supersizes Periton’s long established practice of creating delicate paper-cut outs. The designs will be digitally printed across 45 glass panels lining the station. Each panel is up to three metres tall and two tonnes in weight. Together they will create a huge glazed frieze.

Periton is also creating a work of art for the station’s eastern ticket hall, 350 metres away on Lindsey Street, near the Barbican.

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Find out more about the Crossrail Art Programme.


Local artist Sonia Boyce has been selected to develop a community artwork for the Elizabeth line trackside wall running through Custom House, Silvertown and North Woolwich.

Sonia is now working with the local community to develop her proposal with the aim of creating a design which celebrates the rich and unique history of the local area.

Over her 30-year career Sonia has emerged as one of the leading figures in the British art scene. In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for services to Art, and in 2016 she became a Royal Academician. This will be her first permanent public art piece in the UK.

The artwork, which at over a mile long is one of the longest ever commissioned in the UK, will be unveiled next year. 

Find out how to get involved in developing the design of the artwork.


Abbey Wood_s new station building opens_ 22 October 2017 _291639

The programme to prepare the existing rail network east and west of central London for the Elizabeth line continues.

The new Abbey Wood station building is now open to provide passenger access to Southeastern services. Opening the building will allow completion of construction works at this site.
Installation of the new overhead line, which will power the new Elizabeth line trains on the existing railway, is now complete.

Tracks are complete at Pudding Mill Lane portal, which links the tunnels to the line through Stratford to Shenfield. This will enable the first of the new trains to be taken into the tunnel for testing.
Platform extensions are nearing completion at a number of the outer stations, including Brentwood, Gidea Park, Romford, Chadwell Heath and Ilford in the east and West Ealing, Southall and Hayes & Harlington in the west.

Construction works by Network Rail will continue until December 2019.

Crossrail archaeology exhibition breaks visitor records

Tunnel - The Archaeology of Crossrail - online exhibition

The Museum of London Docklands’ exhibition ‘Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail’ (10 February – 3 September 2017), became the museum’s most popular exhibition ever with 96,750 people visiting over its six month run.

There is still a chance to experience the finds from the Crossrail project via a 360 degree virtual tour. You can travel around the exhibition, see 3D images of the objects that were on display, watch videos of the construction of the Elizabeth line and discover in-depth information about some of the archaeological finds from the comfort of your home.


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.


  • The Design Line exhibition: A family exhibition about the stations, art and public space on the Elizabeth line. At London Transport Museum.

Find out more information about future Crossrail events.

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