Cookies on the Crossrail website

We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Crossrail website.

Find out why we use cookies and how to manage your settings.

Building London’s new east to west railway sustainably

By 2030 the capital’s population is set to reach 10 million. Its transport system must be ready to service this increasing demand. This project is a key part of the UK’s plan to maintain London’s place as a world-class city by supporting considerable growth and maintaining the highest standards in urban transportation.

Crossrail is delivering a new suburban railway for London and the South East. It will open as the Elizabeth line in phases from 2018 and be fully complete by 2019. The route will run over 100 kilometres through 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London and to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

It will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, reduce journey times and bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of London. The new railway has been designed to be safe, calm, spacious and accessible. New trains, over 200 metres long, will be able to carry up to 1,500 people – almost twice as many as current London Underground trains – creating a more comfortable experience.

The project is delivering 42 kilometres of tunnels, 10 new stations, improvements to 30 more and upgrades to existing rail infrastructure. It is also working with local Boroughs to improve public space around stations and with commercial developers to build new homes, offices and retail units above or near the new stations. This integrated approach is helping better knit new and upgraded infrastructure into its surroundings.

Download Crossrail Sustainability Report, 2016

A total funding package of £14.8 billion is available for the delivery of London’s newest railway. The railway is supporting jobs and regeneration. It is estimated that the Elizabeth line will generate at leas £42 billion for the UK economy.

As Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail presents an excellent opportunity to lead in delivering a sustainable railway, fit for the future. Sustainability has been at the heart of the project from day. Decision-making on the project has carefully considered the Crossrail economic, environmental and social impact.

This project will have a long-lasting impact on how people travel through the capital and South East and leave a lasting learning legacy for future projects and the wider industry.

Crossrail's sustainability vision

To build Crossrail sustainably by:

  • Seeking to minimise the impact on the environment and the community throughout construction
  • Ensuring a diverse supply chain benefits from Crossrail work and that materials used on the project are sourced sustainably
  • Providing a legacy of skills, learning, expertise and experience that can be handed on to the next generation of major infrastructure projects
  • Moving a step closer to a more inclusive and safer construction industry

To design and deliver a world-class railway that can be operated sustainably by:

  • Embedding energy saving and emissions reduction in the rolling stock and station designs
  • Promoting safety, comfort and wider social and environmental benefits in the design of the stations, trains and public spaces
  • Helping to secure London’s place as a competitive world city

This holistic approach is supported by two key priorities within the Crossrail organisation:

Safety – This is Crossrail’s number one value. It is based on the beliefs that all harm is preventable, that everyone working on the project has the right to go home unharmed every day and that everyone must work together to achieve this.

Innovation – This is embedded within the organisation. The Innovate18 programme promotes new thinking and new ideas, many of which have an impact on sustainability for Crossrail and future projects.

Crossrail Sustainability Report 2016 highlights

Our fifth Sustainability Report published since the start of construction in 2009 highlights:

  • 84 per cent of construction machinery in the central section were fitted with pollutant reducing emission controls;
  • 98 per cent of material excavated from sites was beneficially reused;
  • 573 apprenticeships have been created on the project, almost 50 per cent more than the original target of 400;
  • 27 per cent of new apprentices enrolled in the past 12 months are female;
  • 4,544 local people from London boroughs and / or the previously unemployed have found employment on Crossrail;
  • Over 15,000 people have received training at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford; and
  • 96 per cent of the contracts awarded by Crossrail were to UK companies with 62 per cent of suppliers based outside London.

Crossrail Sustainability Report 2016 Infographic

Crossrail’s sustainability performance is told through the well understood themes of social, economic and environmental sustainability and is designed to meet the aspirations of our joint sponsors (Transport for London and Department for Transport), stakeholders and future passengers.


Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability

Building new infrastructure requires the use of significant natural resources and will always impact the people and... Read more

Social sustainability

Social sustainability

During construction Crossrail is a major employer and offers a significant opportunity to develop a highly skilled... Read more

Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability for Crossrail is built on the ethos of contributing to a strong, stable economy that will help... Read more

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Safety is the number Crossrail Ltd's number one value and is a crucial consideration in every aspect of the Crossrail... Read more