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Excavation of new Crossrail dive-under begins at Acton

By Nick Mann

Excavation of new Crossrail dive-under begins at Acton

The excavation of 34,000 tonnes of earth for a new rail underpass just outside Acton Main Line station has begun as part of works to prepare the route for the full arrival of Crossrail services in 2019.

The dive-under is needed so that trains leaving the Acton freight yard do not delay passenger trains heading towards Acton Main Line and on to central London. 

Currently freight trains enter and leave the freight yard by crossing the mainline passenger tracks. The new dive-under will allow the trains to access the yard without affecting passenger services, increasing capacity and reliability.

The start of excavation follows nearly two years of work to re-configure the freight yard. The work on the dive-under is being managed by Network Rail and is expected to last until 2016.

Matthew White, Crossrail’s Surface Director said: “The dive-under at Acton is a vital part of the Crossrail works in west London, helping to ensure a fast, frequent and reliable service for passengers when full services start in 2019.”

Rob McIntosh, Crossrail Programme Director, Network Rail, said: “The Acton dive-under is one of the most complex infrastructure structures we are delivering for Crossrail. The new dive-under will ensure the activities of this important freight yard, which services the London network, are secured when the Crossrail services begin. The team has worked closely with principal contractors BAM Nuttall to achieve this milestone and over the coming months we will really be able to see the dive-under structure emerge.” 

Crossrail will transform public transport, making it quicker and easier for people to get to a range of destinations across London and the South East. Residents in west London and Berkshire will benefit from new trains, frequent services and better stations as part of the project.

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. The work includes upgrading 43 miles of track as well as improving 27 stations from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors:

The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and run more than 100 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Network Rail is a key partner in Crossrail. Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. Its work will integrate Crossrail with the national rail network. The work includes upgrading 43 miles of track, improving 27 stations, and work on 20 bridges.

The exact opening strategy for Crossrail has not yet been finalised but the current planning assumption is that Crossrail services will be introduced as follows:

  • Heathrow to Paddington (mainline platforms) – May 2018
  • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Abbey Wood – December 2018
  • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Shenfield – May 2019
  • Full through service (including services to Maidenhead) – December 2019