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Major new Crossrail initiative to share lessons learned with the wider industry

By Nick Mann

Major new Crossrail initiative to share lessons learned with the wider industry

Crossrail has today launched a new initiative to share insight from Europe’s largest construction project with the wider UK infrastructure industry. This comes in the week it was announced the line will operate as the Elizabeth line when the new service opens for passengers through central London in December 2018.

With over £400bn of infrastructure projects identified in the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan, Crossrail’s Learning Legacy initiative seeks to collate knowledge and share good practice on a wide range of topics, including Health & Safety, Project Management, Engineering and the Environment.

The first tranche of material shares some of the early lessons that have been learned from the Crossrail programme. It includes technical papers, peer-reviewed case studies and procedures, which have been published on a dedicated website:

Further material will be published every six months during the rest of the project.

The resource was launched today at an industry event in London, which was attended by Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive; Tony Meggs, Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority; and Alison Munro, Managing Director - Development at HS2.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “Passing on the lessons and good practice that we have learned at Crossrail is an absolutely essential part of raising the bar in the delivery of major projects. With an unprecedented number of infrastructure schemes around the corner, now is the time to start sharing what we have learned so the UK can build on its reputation for delivering safely, on time and on budget.”

Tony Meggs, Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), said: “The IPA is wholly committed to ensuring the UK's delivery of major infrastructure projects is achieved efficiently and effectively. The creation of a learning environment is vital to improving project performance, and we see Crossrail's Learning Legacy as an impressive example of best practice. We encourage all project professionals to draw on this excellent resource; the more we can learn from the experience of others the closer we will come to flawless project execution."

Alison Munro, HS2 Ltd Managing Director – Development, said: “Projects on the scale of HS2 only come around once in a generation. That’s why it’s vital that we learn from Crossrail and apply the lessons to drive efficiency in our own build to help deliver the highest quality for all our passengers, stakeholders and communities along the line. And, in turn, we will pass on the lessons we learn, to the projects of the future.”

Crossrail Limited will be working with a broad range of industry partners to disseminate the information through an ambassador programme, including events and webinars that will allow the people building the projects of the future to hear directly from the people who have delivered Crossrail infrastructure.

Simon Bennett, Head of Learning Legacy at Crossrail said: “The launch is just the start of Crossrail’s Learning Legacy initiative. Our focus now is on publishing updates on a regular basis and working with our partners to make sure that others can learn from our experience of working on the Crossrail project.”

The first tranche of material covers over 100 documents on topics including Project Management, Environmental Sustainability and Health & Safety. Some of the early examples of lessons learned include:

  • The benefits of Crossrail’s ‘Performance Assurance Framework’, which compares contractor performance and shares best practice as a way of encouraging contractors to go beyond basic compliance and driving world-class standards. The framework measures contractor performance across a number of key areas including Health & Safety, Social Sustainability and Quality. The scheme has allowed contractors to learn from one another and has helped to embed a culture of continuous improvement.
  • The use of ‘leading’ Health & Safety indicators, that measure the steps being taken to create safe and healthy working environments, rather than just traditional ‘lagging’ indicators, such as Accident Frequency Rates. Crossrail’s Health and Safety Performance Index (HSPI) drives positive behaviours and a culture that helps to prevent accidents occurring in the first place.
  • The processes used to meet stringent emissions control standards, manage construction vibration impacts on listed buildings and source construction materials ethically. Crossrail has also taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint, both during construction and once trains are operational, which has included research into the capture of heat from trains as a potential sustainable energy source.
  • Key aspects of tunnelling beneath a major city like London, including the management of ground movement and the delivery of large scale excavation and concrete lining.  


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