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Crossrail. The Megathread

  • 08-03-2010 5:39pm
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Seeing as it will not be finished till 2017 I am optimistic it will eventually hit megathread status. This one long railway line will cost an estimated €20bn now, probably more by the time it is all done and dusted.

    Anyway , most of us will be in London some time between now and 2017 and will assuredly be good for a gawk at this one.

    This is a project to put a heavy duty backbone tube UNDER the tube network in London. Paris already did this when they put the RER under the Metro in the 1970s. Most other cities in Europe are too small to ever contemplate this scale of project.

    Latest update here

    The preliminary works prior to the main bore and build have started at Canary Wharf and some more preliminary works were tendered out last week as you can see here. By now it is too late to stop and Crossrail will be constructed.
    Crossrail Ltd has today submitted an OJEU notice for advance civils works at five central London Crossrail stations.

    The central section of the railway will run via Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel Stations. This notice is for the construction of civil advance works at these stations, excluding Paddington, that are required to be completed before tunnel works commence at these locations.
    The scopes of these works include piling, diaphragm walling, shaft construction and associated civils works.
    Programme Director Andy Mitchell said: "These significant pieces of work will be crucial to the Crossrail programme as they will enable each station to receive the Tunnel Boring Machines on schedule at its site."

    The main tunnel bores were tendered out recently ( or interest was to be expressed)

    Tottenham Court Road is where Crossrail and a future Crossrail2 north south line will intersect. This station is the London version of Chatelet and will cost at least €500m alone...just that one station like.
    "By 2017, Tottenham Court Road will be one of the most important transport hubs in the West End as it will serve both London Underground and Crossrail. The Tube station will be extensively redeveloped to make the ticket hall around six times larger and the station will have twice the capacity than at present. Real progress is already being made on site with main construction set to start in early 2010."

    In total, £1bn will be spent to upgrade the capacity of the Tube station, build a new Crossrail station and create a new piazza outside Centre Point. The transport improvements will also provide better facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, bus passengers and other road users.

    A separate contract will be let by Crossrail in due course for the construction of the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road which will connect to the Tube station.



  • Posts: 5,121 Louis Flabby Troop

    I remember hearing about this when I used to commute from Ealing Broadway to Maidenhead.

    Not sure where they will get the space for this in M'head station as it is raised and on the mainline.

    Canary Wharf looks impressive.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    I was just gonna post exactly that PG but ya Bate me to it :)
    Work on the Canary Wharf Crossrail station, which will be the first Crossrail station to be constructed, began on 15 May 2009. The six-storey structure includes plans for 100,000 sq ft of retail space and a roof-top park. At 256m long the station will be almost as long as three football pitches. Tunnel boring machines are expected to reach the site in summer 2012 and the station is due to be completed in 2015. Crossrail services are expected to begin operating from 2017 cutting journey times across London allowing travel from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in 7 minutes, Paddington in 17 minutes and Heathrow in 44 minutes.

    This is one of the larger stations by the way.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,040 ✭✭✭yuloni

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Condi wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    In Donegal :eek:

    Mind you Arranmore in Donegal is the home of the famous "Tunneling Tigers" but their motto seems to be 'We will dig anything anywhere except in Donegal'

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,040 ✭✭✭yuloni

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Condi wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    It was you are right.
    This post has been deleted.

    Can I be quite clear on one thing. There will be NO TUNNELING in Donegal , much less Arranmore

    I am equally certain that Donegal people especially from Arranmore and Dungloe will work on Crossrail. Now we have done the obligatory Donegal Tribute bit can we get back on topic Condi ;)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3

    There is some good maps of the scheme on the official crossrail website. I'm in the process of editing them on photobucket as they are too large to copy the url straight off their website.

    I see West Ealing is going to be a station on the crossrail. Interesting as west ealing has no commuting rail as is just (national rail services and) bus service to either Northfields or Ealing Broadway.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3

    The maps below are taken off the crossrail website. The bits of line in red are the underground sections

    Schematic route map

    Regional map

    Transport connections

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy

    This is one heck of an Infrastructure project, and hits very close home to me, being a lad born in London myself. :D

    Whenever I'm over there, you can be sure I'll be taking plenty of snaps!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3

    BluntGuy wrote: »
    This is one heck of an Infrastructure project, and hits very close home to me, being a lad born in London myself. :D

    Whenever I'm over there, you can be sure I'll be taking plenty of snaps!

    Excellent stuff, I have been over to London a few times myself and I agree this project looks huge. When finished it looks to really link up many parts of London that are currently isolated from a commuting rail service.

    One example would be in the suburb of Ealing, currently there is only two underground stations at Northfields and Ealing Broadway. This new line will extend these services out to west Ealing which is currently isolated from any rail services only the national one at the West Ealing station itself.

    The most impressive feat will be that of the central city area where they will digging underneath the underground itself :eek:

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    tech2 wrote: »
    Excellent stuff, I have been over to London a few times myself and I agree this project looks huge.

    London in 1970 , same as Paris, had a very slow tube network that brought punters from big overground stations to the very centre. The busiest overground stations in Europe are Victoria Waterloo and Gare Du Nord and Gare D'Austerlitz in Paris IIRC. All are awya from the CBD and Government Districts although you could walk from Waterloo to Whitehall and Victoria to Whitehall in all fairness.

    The French got the finger out and built the original cross shaped RER crossing in Chatelet les Halles. The Brits dithered although the tube was not as dinky as the Paris Metro. Most jobbies the Brits did post war were north south ( Jubilee down To Charing Cross and Victoria and some Picaddilly) . They ignored east west for years.

    Then in the 1980s they built Thameslink North South from Brighton to Bedford but mainly overground or in a gullet. Finally they looked again at east west as Canary Wharf rose in a wasteland in the Docklands. Someone tapped Paul Channon for a large wedge of public cash and started Crossrail as a sort of Tory Nutjob system.

    Crossrail from Paddington to Liverpool Street has therefore been around for 20 years or more as a plan. It was always going to be a deep tube.

    Crossrail in the mid 1990s was either killed in favour of the Jubilee Line which was extended east - west along the river or else the Jubilee Line went so far over budget that Crossrail was killed. I cannot remember the precise sequence.

    Central London is served ( east west) by the low capacity central line ( mind the gap territory) and this was a New Central Line beneath it. There are other lines north and south of it. One is the oldest underground in the world near Euston.

    Then Crossrail grew a hell of a lot east and west since c.2000 when it was resurrected.

    West they added the Paddington western commuter services and The Heathrow Express to it.

    They realised that Liverpool Street was not a good terminus and Canary Wharf was added . The Olympic Park was also added although it will not be done in time for the Olympics and thereafter I think it takes over fenchurch street service.

    The Canary Wharf and Stratford ( Olympics) legs were extended quite a lot with a fenchurch St leg being taken over. Fenchurch Street is a small station. One plan even had it going to Ebbsfleet SE of London and Reading to the West. 50 Miles long at least but 20 miles on existing track.

    It will relieve a LOT of pressure on all of London Bridge/Paddington/Liverpool Street Tube/Fenchurch Street and on the DLR.

    Crossrail 2 is another early 1990s plan called the Hackney-Chelsea line but that will probably end up as as an Epsom Racecourse and Gatwick to Stansted Airport connection once it gets its opportunity to Bloat like Crossrail did since it was conceived.

    It is many many years away :) Lets see how this one goes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,630 ✭✭✭Plowman

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Plowman wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    You would be right. The blue bits to the West and north east are all existing Overground lines that end in busy Overground stations on the fringes of the centre and London has a large centre of about 5 miles wide by 2 miles deep north/south.

    The Red bit on the left is the Heathrow Express which can serve the City direct now instead of terminating in Paddington 4 or 5 miles from the City of London like now.

    These are gonna cross over underground in future in an Interconnector scale twin tunnel but it is a very deep tunnel and the stations will be large, RER style.


    The only NEW lines are the red bit in the middle and the entire section to the south east via Canary Wharf which is red/blue. The very last bit may the existing London Bridge - Dartford Line via Greenwich at Abbey Wood. It could be quad tracked (from my memory of it) . Abbey Wood is very near the first London Mega Project ....ever heard of Crossness Pumping Station ???

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,954 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Can I be quite clear on one thing. There will be NO TUNNELING in Donegal , much less Arranmore

    What, you mean my McGuckian style plans for Metro North West from Leabgarrow to Arranmore with a feeder service to Chapel Strand for the church can't go ahead? Balls.

    (I'm from one of said tunnelling families)

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    You start the thread in the Railway Infrastructure Heritage Forum so MYOB, good lad and I will see if I can get McGuckian back and throw it in there too. I have been assured that it is merely hidden :p

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3

    I've been reading through the progress and there is some major work being carried out on the Canary Wharf station. A huge amount of water has been pumped and work is now starting on the station itself. It's planned to have a big retail unit also in the design. Am I right in saying this thing is going to cost £500 million alone?

    Canary Wharf Station

    This was taken at original water levels


    And here is a recent photo


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭Cool Mo D

    What's the story with the non-tunnelled parts of Crossrail. They go along exisitng railways, but will they have their own dedicated tracks, or will they be sharing? I assume all the surface rail is already 4 -tracked.

    Also, another city with a big underground suburban rail system is Brussels - sextuple underground tracks between Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi. A massive job when it was being done.

    New York is doing some similar projects too: the $7 billion East Side Access and $9 billion Mass Transit Tunnel.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Yep, £500m. I cannot fathom why seeing as it is a standalone project not one being carefully wrapped around and under an existing station like Tottenham Court Road is.

    The central stations are mainly in design and the final contracts have not been tendered ....until later this year.

    This describes the scale of the problem. They must be threaded in below busy existing stations in narrow medieval streetscapes in the main.
    3 March, 2010 | By Ed Owen
    Crossrail has issued tenders for advance works for five of the most complicated tunnelled stations - at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.

    Each of the stations is vast, with station boxes up to 300m long and 25m wide, and be built in some of London’s busiest areas - including the West End and City.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3

    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Yep, £500m. I cannot fathom why seeing as it is a standalone project not one being carefully wrapped around and under an existing station like Tottenham Court Road is.

    I cannot understand the price of this either, its rather excessive. Even the £16 billion quoted for the whole project is a massive amount of money for one transport project in one area of the country, though the London greater area does cover 1/3 of the population.

    Our MN is a Nissan Micra compared to their Bugatti Veyron Crossrail.
    Transport minister Sadiq Khan this morning (11 February) flicked the switch on pumps to begin the process of draining nearly 100 million litres - the equivalent to 40 Olympic swimming pools - from the worksite over the next six weeks

    This kinda shows the transport policy in the UK. Our transport minister cuts the tape on new motorways where their one flicks on a switch for pumps, be it rather large ones. :D

    There is a massive demolition job going on around Tottenham Court Rd alright, these photos below were taken from a guy in his flat nearby:


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    tech2 wrote: »
    I cannot understand the price of this either, its rather excessive.

    My memory of this is that they costed Jubilee at c.£1.5bn and Crossrail ( Paddington-Liverpool street but including the deep stations ) at £3bn .

    Jubilee overran (a lot) and my boozing buddy Simon made a fortune out of the old gasworks that later became the Millenium dome because it was a VERY severely Contaminated gasworks not just a Contaminated gasworks.

    He reckons he personally delayed the Jubilee line opening by 6 months ....he had an exclusive contract and he successfully insisted they stuck to its terms or else pay him a 7-8 figure sum to piss off :D

    They would have been 1992 or 1993 prices. Now TCR station alone will cost over £500m and maybe even up £1bn on its own.

    Just imagine what would happen if Bernard McNamara got the job and found a bottomless bog under Bond Street ???

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy

    tech2 wrote: »
    Our MN is a Nissan Micra compared to their Bugatti Veyron Crossrail.

    It really is. Both MN and DART Underground.

    The only station that even comes CLOSE to the level of complexity involved in Crossrail is St. Stephen's Green, but that's all new build, no adjusting of other stations necessary. The Heuston station requires some adjustment of the existing station and erm... THIS is how they plan to do it.

    It... doesn't really look all that nice. :(

    But I shan't de-rail this thread...

    Crossrail is an incredibly exciting and ambitious project, and since it's gonna be a good while before any serious construction/enabling begins on our own, it'll be great to keep track of this one.

    First thing I need to find is the reference designs and environmental impact study. They're a good port of call for detailed information.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    Also remember that the key to shifting people in vast numbers is related to platform dimension and station dimension and intervals.

    I think Dart Interconnector will be at 3 min intervals each way and 800 persons per train.

    Crossrail will be able to shift trains at 2 min intervals like the RER and will have 1500 persons on each train.

    As the lines are bidirectional the peak capacity of the Interconnector will be 800 punters x 20 trains per hour x 2 directions and Crossrail 1500 punters x 30 trains per hour x 2 Directions.

    Most alight in the core stations of which there are 5 in Crossrail and 5 on Interconnector.

    Lets say they all alight centrally for simplicity.

    The 5 dart Interconnector stations will have to clear out 32000 punters an hour / 5 stations or 6400 punters each an hour from fairly shallow depth. Couple of seconds to surface.

    The 5 Crossrail stations will have to clear out 90000 punters an hour / 5 stations or 24000 punters each an hour AND from a much greater depth, over a minute to surface. Lots of escalators required.

    The London platforms will have to be bloody enormous ( c 6 metres wide like the RER) at depth as they must clear many more punters in 2 minutes than the Interconnector will in 3 minutes.

    Then the EMERGENCY exits are a tad large in London and must factor in heart attacks with all those stairs :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy

    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    I think Dart Interconnector will be at 3 min intervals each way and 800 persons per train.

    Crossrail will be able to shift trains at 2 min intervals like the RER and will have 1500 persons on each train.

    I remember reading somewhere that DART Underground will open trains every 6 minutes, 10 per direction, per hour. So I would have to wonder what kind of frequencies Crossrail will be opening with. Also, I find the 160 km/h speed a little hard to believe, I know it's only 100 km/h in tunnels, but even that seems a bit much.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    BluntGuy wrote: »
    . So I would have to wonder what kind of frequencies Crossrail will be opening with.

    Initially one every 2.5 minutes or 24 an hour.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭markpb

    These two blogs might be of interest to some people: London Reconnections and London Connections. They occasionally contain fairly technical posts. I'm staggered by the scale of this project. This photo of Finsbury Circus shows the sheer complexity of a small section of the line.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭KevR

    The Crossrail project will be very interesting to follow and when it's finished, they hope to start work on this:
    Sky News wrote:
    Details Of 250mph Rail Network Revealed

    1:51pm UK, Thursday March 11, 2010
    Ruth Barnett, Sky News Online

    Plans for a 250mph high-speed rail network between London and Scotland via Birmingham have been set out by the Government.

    The first part of the 335-mile, £30bn line will run between London Euston and Birmingham.

    It will speed up journeys between the UK's two biggest cities to between 30 and 50 minutes but work will not begin until 2017.

    The first phase will cost between £15.8bn and £17.4bn, Transport Minister Lord Adonis has announced in a White Paper.

    Eventually, two branches will be built north of Birmingham, visiting Manchester, the East Midlands, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers says the plans do not go far enough and it is a "big mistake" not to include a high-speed link to Heathrow Airport.

    "Labour's plans are flawed both by lack of ambition and undermined by their inability to grasp the basic truth that high speed rail should an alternative to a third runway not an addition to it," she said.
    The announcement has been welcomed by the chief executive of Network Rail.

    "There is now a broad political consensus that Britain must have an HSR future. High-speed is a vital part of a modern, dynamic economy. By slashing journey times, HSR can drive economic growth and boost jobs," Iain Coucher said.

    "It would also take cars and lorries off the road, cut domestic flights and release capacity on the existing rail network, transforming services even for those communities not served directly by a high-speed line. It is the low-carbon, sustainable transport of the future."

    Lord Adonis said work on the new routes would not begin until the London Crossrail line has been completed.

    "A new HSR network would be expensive, and over the decades ahead would require significant public investment," he wrote in The Times. "But most of these costs would not start to be incurred until the end of this decade."

    Would be good if the planned High Speed line into London had a direct connection with the Crossrail scheme but it will only go as far as Euston unfortunately. It's not a huge deal, it's only 3 stops on the Underground from Euston to a Crossrail connection at Tottenham Court Road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,304 ✭✭✭✭Alun

    I wish we had a transport minister called Lord Adonis :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,884 ✭✭✭101sean

    Great name and actually has an interest in railways. That's him doomed then!

    Company I'm back working for part time in the UK does a lot of drainage/civils investigation and repair work for LU and Network Rail, priced some work at Paddington last year for Crossrail. The level of complexity in working on existing stations is mind blowing.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy

    Thought given the current discussion over rail projects here which would appear to crumbling to bits, a look at a project which is actually going ahead would be interesting.

    Some very good photos on their site.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 183 ✭✭ClareVisitor

    The sheer scale of this porject is mind-boggling. I was walking around central London a couple of months ago and to see the whole corner of Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road demolished was a bit discombobulating.

    Once finished it will be great for getting into and through London. As someone who lives a couple of stations east of the terminus at Shenfield this will give much better access to Heathrow airport especially, it takes a long time to get there via at least three trains at the moment. I no longer work in London, but it will also take some of the load off existing commuter services. I know that a fella I used to work with who got on the train at Shenfield never got a seat on his way to work, I guess he won't have that problem once Crossrail is running.