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New aerial images give bird’s-eye view of Crossrail as project moves into peak of construction

By Stuart Buss

New aerial images give bird’s-eye view of Crossrail as project moves into peak of construction
  • New images show scale of transformation in central and southeast London as well as construction of the new RSPB nature reserve at Wallasea Island

  • Key milestones for 2013 unveiled including completion of first Crossrail tunnels in late 2013 as delivery programme continues to accelerate

  • Over 20 million hours worked on Europe’s largest construction project with 7,000 people now working at over 40 sites across London and the southeast

New aerial images released by Crossrail give an early glimpse of the major new railway being created across London and the southeast. The images were released as Crossrail outlined its key delivery milestones in 2013 as the project moves into the peak of construction between now and 2015.

The aerial images show the progress and huge transformation at Crossrail sites in central and southeast London including:

  • Flagship new Crossrail stations under construction in central London and Docklands - Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf
  • Tunnelling sites on either side of the capital where four huge tunnelling machines (Ada and Phyllis in the west, and Elizabeth and Victoria in the east) were launched in 2012. Over 3km of tunnel has been constructed to-date.
  • Work underway to create a new 1,500 acre nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex - one of the largest new wetland nature reserves in Europe for 50 years – using excavated material from Crossrail’s tunnelling programme
  • Huge excavation works to create the 25 metre-deep station box at Woolwich along with the completion of the Plumstead portal where tunnelling machines will burrow beneath the Thames to create part of Crossrail’s south-eastern section
  • A purpose-built temporary factory at Old Oak Common in west London which is producing 75,000 concrete tunnel segments to line Crossrail’s western tunnels
  • Refurbishment works at the 135 year old Connaught Tunnel in southeast London which will be refurbished and brought back into use for Crossrail
  • Over 20 million hours have been worked on the project so far with 7,000 people now working at over 40 sites across London and the southeast
  • Over 1,000 people have passed through the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in Ilford, east London – the centre of excellence for tunnelling set up in 2011

The Crossrail project will move into the peak of construction between now and 2015. Key milestones over the next 12 months include:

  • The launch of Sophia, Crossrail’s fifth tunnelling machine in January, followed by a sixth tunnelling machine, Mary, this summer. Both machines will tunnel from Plumstead.
  • Construction of the new Crossrail Custom House station will get underway
  • The eastern tunnelling machines will break through into Canary Wharf station box this spring before making their way towards central London
  • The western tunnelling machines will pass through the sites of major new Crossrail stations, starting with Bond Street followed by Tottenham Court Road
  • Continued archaeology works at Crossrail sites including excavation of the Bedlam Burial Ground at Liverpool Street station where up to 4,000 skeletons from the 1600s-1800s are thought to be buried
  • Major infrastructure works on the surface section to help increase capacity on the existing rail network, including construction of a new fly-over close to Heathrow, a new rail-underpass in Acton and the rebuilding of existing rail bridges to provide room for overhead electric equipment for the new Crossrail trains
  • Further designs and plans finalised for station improvements to be made along the surface section of the Crossrail route including a new station at Abbey Wood
  • A section of the Royal Docks will be drained to allow major works on the Connaught Tunnel to commence and involve opening the tunnel from above for the first time since its construction in 1878
  • Further planning applications submitted for over-site developments above Crossrail stations including the western ticket hall (Davies Street) at Bond Street
  • Continued progress by Canary Wharf Group on the four-storey retail development above the new Canary Wharf station, including the start of work on the timber lattice roof in late 2013
  • Completion of the first Crossrail tunnels by the end of 2013 - the 6km western section between Royal Oak and Farringdon
  • Thousands more contracts to be awarded by Crossrail’s principal contractors and the supply-chain throughout 2013, creating further opportunities for UK companies of all sizes

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s Chief Executive said: “These striking new aerial images provide a glimpse of how Crossrail is transforming the London landscape with world-class new stations and transport links. From major new developments in central London to a range of transport improvements across the southeast, this unique bird’s eye view shows how Crossrail is taking shape. Over 20 million hours have now been worked on the project and 2013 will see further important milestones including the completion of our first tunnels, further progress to construct the new central London stations and upgrades to the existing rail network.”

When Crossrail opens in 2018, it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent and dramatically cut journey times across the city. Through the new transport links and significant over-station developments being delivered, Crossrail will support regeneration across the capital with economic forecasts suggesting the project will add up to £42 billion to the economy. As Europe’s biggest construction project, Crossrail is also creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities as well as business opportunities for companies of all sizes to supply services and materials.

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

Notes to editors:

Crossrail’s construction commenced on 15 May 2009 at Canary Wharf.

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) 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.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.