Located in a rich and culturally diverse area, Whitechapel station is an important interchange for both the Hammersmith & City and District lines and London Overground. The design approach will see the new Elizabeth line station weave between the existing transport services to an elevated station concourse which acts as a bridge improving community links.
Access to all interchange services will be from a spacious, new ticket hall sitting on a bridge above the Victorian railway. Entry to the station will be through the refurbished original entrance on Whitechapel High Street. To improve connectivity to the surrounding area a new second entrance will be provided at the northern end of the station.
The new station concourse will sweep from the High Street over the East-West Underground lines and above the north-south Overground lines before dipping under the road bridge at Durward Street. It continues along the course of the railway cutting where it then allows access to the new platforms.
The raised concourse perches on steel struts, resting on the brick arches of the Overground cutting. It floats in the space, allowing daylight down to the Overground platforms. Its green roof, topped with sedum plants, will dip down under a new bridge connecting it to Durward Street, and will provide several environmental benefits including improvements to air quality, noise and storm water attenuation, conservation and biodiversity.
Natural light and fresh air from the station concourse creates a calm, open, brightly-lit environment. A new public square at the northern end of the station provides a new pedestrian link to Whitechapel High Street.
Escalators down to the Elizabeth line platform at the northern end are placed in a diagonal slice through the western vent shaft building.
All this is mostly hidden from view externally, behind the existing refurbished modest Victorian station frontage on the High Street, where a widened stone-paved footway makes a forecourt, with a new concourse behind it.
A public footway will run right through the station from end to end, reconnecting people north of the station with the High Street. Also to the north, a landscaped public square will replace what is at present a surface car park.
To the west, Court Street, leading to a pedestrian bridge over the Underground tracks, will be made vehicle-fee, better paved and lit to be more welcoming. To the south, the widened pavement on Whitechapel Road will link across to the former Whitechapel Hospital.
In addition to the station improvements, Crossrail has been working with Tower Hamlets Council on proposals for improvements to the area around the station. Early proposals were published in 2014.
ELIZABETH LINE SERVICES FROM WHITECHAPEL
Whitechapel station will open in December 2018 when services begin through central London. Trains will terminate at Paddington in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.
When the route fully opens in December 2019, a train every two and a half minutes at peak time will allow passengers to travel all the way through to Paddington, Heathrow or Reading in the west and Shenfield or Abbey Wood in the east
Crossrail will continue the programme of station upgrade activity in Whitechapel during the second half of 2017 and into 2018. The main structural steel has been successfully installed above Whitechapel station. The project is now focused on roof installation above the London Overground and London Underground tracks. Cladding activity, including glasswork and steel, will continue alongside this into 2018. Remodelling of the former station entrance on Whitechapel Road is ongoing prior to reopening in 2018. Mechanical and electrical installation activity will also occur throughout the station until late 2018. Various activities will take place around the clock.
From Monday 6 November, we will begin works to remove the gantry structure located at the former Whitechapel station entrance. The gantry structure will be removed in stages over approximately four weeks. Scaffolding will then be erected on the façade of the station building over two weeks. This will remain in place for approximately four months while we reinstate brickwork on the front of the station. Due to the close proximity to the road and footway, the majority of disassembly and scaffolding works will take place at night between 20:00 and 06:00, seven days a week, when there is less traffic. Sections of the footway may close during these times, with pedestrians diverted to the southern side of the Whitechapel Road. Sections of the bus lane may also close during this period, however all bus stops on Whitechapel Road will remain unaffected. During brickwork reinstatement, the majority of works will revert to daytime hours.
The section of Durward Street between Trinity Hall and Kempton Court will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles from 22 September 2014 until 2018. This will allow the construction of the new Whitechapel Station concourse.
We will continue our programme of work at the Essex Wharf, Durward Street site in 2017. Activities taking place in the Essex Wharf, Durward Street site will include concrete construction of the station head houses by Spring 2017. We will primarily focus on fit-out activity, including installing mechanical and electrical components, lifts and escalators. External cladding activities will continue to take place until Summer 2017. Some sections of this activity will take place at night because of its proximity to the live railway and due to other logistical constraints which are present during the day. Louvres and the shaft roof will be installed during the second half of the year. Internal fit-out activity, which includes block work, mechanical and electrical and other finishing work will continue throughout 2017. We will continue to use a section of neighbouring Swanlea School’s grounds and the school gate on Brady Street.
Reinstatement of the Whitechapel Sports Centre astro-turf pitch is underway. Survey work on the site is complete and we are currently working to reinstate walls and fencing. From mid November, we will begin to excavate and remove the tarmac on the site. This work will involve some breaking of concrete over approximately one week, and ground compaction works for approximately 5 to 10 days. These works may generate some noticeable noise and vibration for local residents. From late November we will commence work to reinstate the paving and astro-turf itself. All works on the site will take place from 08:00 to 18:00 Mondays to Fridays, and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays until late December 2017. The pitch will then be handed back to the Sports Centre for use. Please see the linked PDF information sheet for full details.
We will be removing a remnant of the support deck, which was previously located above the London Overground platforms, in our Essex Wharf Durward Street site in autumn 2017. Due to the close proximity of the operational railway some works will need to be carried out at night. In addition to this, we will be carrying out utility investigation work in the Essex Wharf Durward Street site. Sections of the concrete base slab on site will be removed using a breaker and a vacuum excavator, allowing us to confirm the location of utilities on the east side of the site. This work will take place between 08:00 and 18:00 on Mondays to Fridays and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays from 1 November onwards for approximately one month.
Crossrail will continue construction activities on the interior and exterior of the shaft and head house structure located within the Cambridge Heath Road site throughout 2017 and into 2018. The previously announced staircase construction was postponed and resumes from January 2017. The staircase has been produced off-site and will be lifted into place over approximately one month. Installation of tunnel systems including signalling, power and ventilation fans is also underway. There will continue to be a variety of work taking place around the clock, with lower impact works overnight and some work on Sundays.