CROSSRAIL: Europe’s Biggest Railway Infrastructure Project

Crossrail is the biggest railway infrastructure project in Europe and is one of the largest single investments undertaken in the UK. The Crossrail project is delivering the Elizabeth line.

Since the construction of the new railway began in 2009, over 15,000 men and women have worked on the project and over 120 million working hours have been completed. Over 1,000 apprenticeships have also been delivered by the Crossrail programme.

Testing of new trains and infrastructure is underway and continues alongside the remaining fit-out of the stations.

All of the permanent track has been installed and the new Elizabeth line trains are currently being tested using the line’s new automatic train control system which operates in the central section of the route.

WHI station

Crosssral started testing the new railway in 2018 to verify the design and installation of the railway systems match the requirements of the Elizabeth line. Crossrail expects to trial run the trains over many thousands of miles on the completed railway to ensure the highest levels of safety and reliability when passenger service begins.

Testing of the railway remains ongoing and Crossrail expects that commissioning will conclude at the end of 2020 before opening the central section of the Elizabeth line.

The Crossrail project is delivering new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

Stepney Green Junction

Each of the ten new stations will have its own, distinct character, conceived by different architects, which reflect the environment and heritage of the local area. However, at platform level, common design components such as seating, signage and full-height platform screen doors will create a consistent and familiar feel to the rest of the Transport for London (TfL) network

A dedicated team of engineers has worked around the clock to install tunnel ventilation, power, signalling, communications and overhead line equipment.

Crossrail expects that the remaining fit-out and systems installation in the stations and tunnels will be completed at the end of 2019. This will allow the new stations and rail infrastructure to be integrated with the rest of the railway.

LIS station

More than 50km of new, permanent track has been installed between Westbourne Park in west London and through to Plumstead and Pudding Mill Lane in the east. Having started track installation in 2015, the final section of track was completed in the eastbound tunnel of the new Whitechapel station in July 2017.

The majority of the track in the central section is formed from standard track slab. This connects with the other track forms that will be used at specific locations.

Around three quarters of the route will run above ground on the existing rail network in outer London, Berkshire and Essex.

Network Rail is delivering this part of the Crossrail programme to add capacity, improve reliability, upgrade stations and electrify sections of the Great Western Main Line.

Elizabeth line trains in production

Crossrail (to be known officially as the Elizabeth line) is a 73-mile (117-kilometre) railway line under development in England that crosses London from east to west. At each end of the central core, the line will divide into two branches: in the west to Reading and stations at Heathrow Airport, and in the east to Abbey Wood and Shenfield. In May 2015, a section of one of the eastern branches, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, was transferred to TfL Rail; this precursor service also took control of Heathrow Connect in May 2018.

Romford Control Centre

The project was approved in 2007 and construction began in 2009 on the central section and connections to existing lines that will become part of the route.[6] A main feature is 13 miles (21 km) of twin tunnels below the city running from Paddington to Stratford and Canary Wharf. An almost entirely new line will branch from the main line at Whitechapel to Canary Wharf in part under the River Thames with a new station at Woolwich and connecting with the North Kent Line at Abbey Wood.

New nine-carriage Class 345 trains will run at frequencies in the central section of up to 24 trains per hour in each direction. It is expected to relieve pressure on existing east-west London Underground lines such as the Central and District lines, as well as the Jubilee line extension and the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly line. Crossrail will be operated by MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd as a London Rail concession of Transport for London, in a similar manner to London Overground. TfL’s annual ticket revenues for the project were forecast in 2017 to exceed £800 million per year in 2020/21 and over £900 million per year from 2022/23.

Crossrail was originally estimated to cost £15.4 billion and open in December 2018. However, in 2018 it was announced that the project would require a further £1.4 billion and open in late 2020 or early 202. In 2019, the estimated cost rose to £17.6 billion. (Source : Wikipedia)

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