Latest Rail News

04.06.15

Crossrail completes tunnelling work

Crossrail has completed the tunnelling works on the new £14.8bn east-west railway, with 26 miles of new train tunnels created under the capital. 

The prime minister, David Cameron, and mayor of London, Boris Johnson, celebrated the completion by going 40 metres below the capital to thank the men and women who have worked on the project. 

Crossrail tunnelling began in the summer of 2012 and ended at Farringdon with the breakthrough of tunnelling machine Victoria. During that time, eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored 26 miles of new 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under London.

“Crossrail is an incredible feat of engineering that will help to improve the lives of working people in London and beyond,” said Cameron. “The project is a vital part of our long term plan to build a more resilient economy by helping businesses to grow, compete and create jobs right along the supply chain.” 

Prime Minister and Mayor of London celebrate completion of Crossrail s tunnelling marathon 200349

It is expected that Crossrail will add 10% capacity to London’s rail network, and will serve 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. 

Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, Crossrail CEO, said: “Crossrail is being delivered on time and within budget and is over 65% complete. Over the last three years, our tunnelling machines have been inching their way forward beneath the streets of London. 

“The skills and expertise of the tunnelling and station teams has been exceptional. The challenge now shifts to the complicated and substantial task of fitting out the stations and tunnels with the necessary systems and equipment to enable Crossrail services to operate.” 

Construction is also advancing on the 10 new Crossrail stations and on works above ground west of Paddington and east of Stratford. 

With the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, Farringdon will become one of the UK’s busiest rail hubs with direct connections to London Underground and upgraded and expanded Thameslink services. 

On 31 May this year, the rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield joined the TfL transport network. This is the first phase of the introduction of Crossrail, which will be fully integrated with TfL services. 

Boris Johnson said: “This is a landmark moment for London that puts us a gigantic step closer to the launch of an absolutely vital new railway, which will hugely improve our ability to speedily move people across our city.” 

Prime Minister and Mayor of London celebrate completion of Crossrail s tunnelling marathon 200346

TfL-run Crossrail services through central London will commence in December 2018 with an estimated 200 million passengers expected to travel on Crossrail each year. 

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London’s transport commissioner, said: “The end of tunnelling marks an impressive milestone in construction. When Crossrail fully opens it will provide much needed new transport links and capacity, helping to support London’s continued economic growth and meet the demands of our rapidly growing population. It is vital that we maintain such investment to meet the challenges of the future.” 

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