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Crossrail announces tunnelling academy public consultation

Members of the public are invited by Crossrail, the new railway for London and the South East, to view its proposals for a new tunnelling academy at three "open-day" consultation sessions.

The chosen site for the academy is at Aldersbrook Sidings, off Romford Road on the border on Newham and Redbridge boroughs.

The drop-in sessions are:

1 pm. - 8 pm. on Monday & Tuesday, 16-17 November 2009 at

The Froud Community Centre
1 Toronto Avenue (Romford Road)
Manor Park E12 5JF


12 noon - 7 pm on Friday, 20 November 2009 at

The York Room
Ilford Central Library
Clements Road
Ilford IG1 1EA

The proposals for the academy will be on display and Crossrail staff will be on hand to discuss them. Information can also be found on Crossrail's website at

The tunnelling academy is expected to train over 3,000 people between now and 2015, providing the skills necessary for work in a variety of tunnelling roles. Whilst the UK has tunnelling expertise and knowledge there is not a purpose-built training facility in the UK that is a focal point for the industry.

By working with industry, professional bodies and other organisations that carry out tunnelling work, Crossrail will be contributing to the development of new qualifications and the improvement of skills in the region.

Crossrail intends to seek planning permission from the London Boroughs of Newham and Redbridge to build the academy on the site.


For further information:

Ankeeta Munsi, Crossrail Press Office
020 3229 9552, [email protected]

Notes for Editors

The site identified for the tunnelling Academy is the Aldersbrook Sidings, Newham, which is situated on railway land located to the west of Ilford Station. The Academy will address the shortage of people with the necessary skills to work on the project and will be a purpose-built facility providing training on the key skills required to work in and around a tunnel excavation environment.

It will also ensure that all personnel working underground on the project achieve the Underground Safety Passport before working on any Crossrail site, in line with Crossrail's strict standards on safety. Crossrail is working closely with ConstructionSkills and TunnelSkills (the relevant Sector Skills Councils), industry bodies such as the British Tunnelling Society and other key organisations such as London Underground, Thames Water, National Grid and EDF.

Through these partnerships, we will ensure that industry gains the maximum benefit from the academy and its legacy continues beyond the life of the Crossrail project.

About Crossrail

Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. When Crossrail opens in 2017 it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East after the new railway opens in 2017. A study published in February 2009 assessed the key benefits including faster journey times, reduced and public transport congestions, improved productivity and higher earnings. When the results are modelled for just one year - 2026 - the annual economic benefit across all of London's boroughs is estimated at £1.24bn at 2008 prices.

A tunnelling academy is due to open in 2010. Up to 14,000 people are estimated to be employed at the peak of construction in 2013/2015. Crossrail is Europe's largest construction project.

Construction of the new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf commenced on 15 May 2009 and preparatory works will continue throughout 2009 with the main construction programming starting in 2010. Tunnelling is set to start in 2011. Crossrail is scheduled to open for service in 2017.