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Woolwich Crossrail station box completed

By Nick Mann

Woolwich Crossrail station box completed
  • Huge station box at Woolwich complete and will shortly be handed over to Crossrail  in preparation for arrival of tunnelling machines
  • Berkeley Homes to hold public open day on Wednesday 27 February
  • Crossrail to support wider regeneration in southeast London 

With over 400,000 working hours undertaken on the project, the huge station box at Woolwich, which has been built as part of the Crossrail project, has been completed by developer Berkeley Homes at its landmark Royal Arsenal Riverside development. 200 jobs were created to construct the station box.

The new station box is 256 metres long, 26 metres wide and 18 metres deep – equivalent to the size of 32 Olympic swimming pools. It is so long that the tallest building in Canary Wharf, One Canada Square, could easily be laid on its side within it, and still leave plenty of room for a double decker bus at either end.

Berkeley Homes has completed the vast station box four months ahead of schedule. The eastern end of the box will be handed over to Crossrail in early March.

The Woolwich box will act as an important staging post for the two 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines, Sophia and Mary, that are digging twin bore tunnels from Plumstead, underneath the River Thames to North Woolwich.

When Crossrail opens, up to 12 trains per hour during the peak will link southeast London and the Royal Docks with Canary Wharf, central London and beyond allowing residents to get to and from London’s key employment areas much more quickly and easily and boosting regeneration.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Berkeley Homes has completed the station box at Woolwich ahead of schedule, allowing Crossrail to get the site ready for the arrival of our thousand tonne tunnelling machine this spring. The benefits of Crossrail for southeast London will be significant – new journey opportunities, reduced journey times, direct access to London’s major employment centres as well as supporting wider regeneration.”

Karl Whiteman, Divisional Managing Director of Berkeley Homes (Urban Renaissance) Ltd, said: “The early completion of this significant project is a credit to the team, especially with over 400,000 man hours worked without incident and industry recognition for the exemplar sustainability credentials that have been set.”

To celebrate the completion of the box, Berkeley Homes will be holding an Open Day on Wednesday 27 February, offering a rare opportunity for the public to step inside the cavernous construction before it is handed over to Crossrail.

In addition, a charity fun run will be held within the box, raising money for Demelza House Children’s Hospice.

Karl Whiteman continued: “These public events will provide people a rare opportunity to visit what is a significant feat of civil engineering before it is handed over to Crossrail, and will prove a good way to raise money for a very deserving charity local to the project.”

Berkeley Homes will begin the planned construction of 585 homes on the station box site later this year, of which at least 165 will be affordable homes. Retail and commercial space will also be delivered, again contributing to the significant regeneration of Woolwich.


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

Berkeley Homes via TTA on 020 7861 2040 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  • 140,000 tonnes of material excavated
  • 30,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete walls and slabs created
  • Total mass 75,000 tonnes (not including Berkeley’s over site development)
  • Total volume of station is 119,808 cubic metres
  • Constructed deep into the aquifer, the box would float if it wasn’t for the 51 concrete anchors that hold it in the ground
  • Exemplar health and safety record (zero major injuries or incidents) and awarded for exceptional standards in sustainability

Under an agreement signed in 2011 with the Department for Transport, Transport for London, Crossrail Limited and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Berkeley Homes has built the basic box structure of a station at Woolwich and will construct its own development overhead.

Discussions are continuing between the Department for Transport and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Berkeley Homes and Transport for London about funding for the station fit-out.

Berkeley Open Day 27 February 3-5pm

Tours of the station box structure will take place every 15-30 minutes between 3pm and 5pm. Photography taken during construction will also be exhibited.

Registration required prior to the day, please contact: [email protected]

Berkeley Foundation Charity Fun Run 27 February 6.30pm

The fun run will take place inside the station box.  One lap of the station box is approximately 0.5 kilometres. All funds raised will go to Demelza, a nominated charity for the Berkeley Foundation. Fun run will be started by representatives from Royal Borough of Greenwich, Crossrail and Berkeley Homes.

For further details on both events contact: [email protected]