Crossrail Ltd set up a series of contractual relationships that allowed it to call off work as the project progressed, pre-appointing companies with framework agreements and then allocating specific tasks to them as and when required.
In December 2008, Crossrail announced 12 firms had secured Design Framework Agreements, which by the end of 2009 had increased to 24. The chosen firms had the opportunity to compete for packages of design work on the Crossrail project, including work on tunnels and shafts, stations, and railway systems.
By the middle of 2009, Crossrail was ready to start awarding design work under this arrangement. By October 2009, most of the design work had been allocated. With allocation of the design packages proceeding, Crossrail was now in a position to begin portioning up the site works.
Between 2008 and 2009, Crossrail had announced 24 firms for the Design Framework Agreements:
- Architectural component design – Atkins;
- Material & workmanship specifications - Mott MacDonald;
- Sprayed concrete lining - Mott MacDonald;
- Bored tunnels - Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd;
- Intermediate shafts – Jacobs;
- Tunnels and shafts aerodynamics and ventilation - Mott MacDonald;
- M&E in tunnels - Mott MacDonald;
- Paddington station - Scott Wilson;
- Paddington Integrated Programme - Mott MacDonald;
- Bond Street station – WSP;
- Tottenham Court Road station - Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd;
- Farringdon station - Scott Wilson;
- Liverpool Street station - Mott MacDonald;
- Whitechapel station – Hyder;
- Custom House station – Atkins;
- Royal Oak portal - Capita Symonds Ltd;
- Pudding Mill Lane portal - Scott Wilson;
- Victoria Dock portal – Hyder;
- North Woolwich and Plumstead portals - Capita Symonds;
- Rolling stock and depot - Mott MacDonald;
- Signalling, traction power OHLE and platform screen doors - Mott MacDonald; Bulk power distribution & HV power - Scott Wilson;
- Communications & control systems - Parsons Brinckerhoff;
- Tunnelling Academy design - Capita Symonds.
- Separately, Atkins had appointed Allies & Morrison as architects for Custom House station.
On 9 April 2009, the Enabling Works Framework Agreements were awarded to 17 companies. The chosen firms had the opportunity to compete for packages of enabling works for the Crossrail project, including site facilities, demolition, civil structures and utilities on the central section of the Crossrail route. Each framework agreement ran for four years.
By September 2009, preparatory work for the £1 billion development at Tottenham Court Road had begun starting with the London Underground station development with buildings, including the Astoria Theatre, being compulsorily purchased and demolished.
In March 2010, contracts were awarded to civil engineering companies for the second round of 'enabling work' including 'Royal Oak portal taxi facility demolition', 'Demolition works for Crossrail Bond Street station', 'Demolition works for Crossrail Tottenham Court Road station' and 'Pudding Mill Lane portal'.
To assist with the skills required for the Crossrail project, in 2011, Crossrail opened the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford. Over the following 6 years the Academy delivered training for over 15,000 contractors and apprentices employed on the project, giving them skills required for Crossrail’s construction but also to take forward for future UK infrastructure schemes. The Academy was handed over to Transport for London in 2017, who have subcontracted its management to the technical college PROCAT.