Crossrail

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This article is about the railway line under construction. For the future train operator, see MTR Crossrail.
For other uses, see Crossrail (disambiguation).
Crossrail
Crossrail roundel.svg
Overview
Type Commuter rail, Suburban rail
System National Rail
Status Under Construction
Locale South East England
Greater London
East of England
Termini Reading / Heathrow Terminal 4
Shenfield / Abbey Wood
Stations 40 (planned)
Operation
Opening 2019 Full route[1]
Owner TfL (Old Oak to Abbey Wood & Stratford)
Network Rail (other sections)
Operator(s) MTR Crossrail (MTR Corporation)[2]
Depot(s) Old Oak Common
Ilford
Plumstead (if TWAO approved)
Rolling stock Class 345
9 carriages per trainset[3]
Technical
Line length 136 km (85 mi)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV 50 Hz AC (Overhead line)
Operating speed Up to 140 km/h (90 mph)
Crossrail 1
Reading National Rail
Twyford National Rail
Maidenhead National Rail
River Thames
Taplow
Burnham
Slough National Rail
Heathrow
Terminal 4
Airport interchange London Underground
Langley
Heathrow
Central
Airport interchange London Underground
Iver
West Drayton
Hayes & Harlington National Rail
Southall
Hanwell
West Ealing National Rail
Ealing Broadway London Underground
Acton Main Line
West Coast Main Line
(proposed)
Old Oak Common London Overground
(proposed)
Kensal Town
(proposed)
enlarge… Paddington London Underground National Rail
Bond Street London Underground
Tottenham Court Road Crossrail London Underground
Farringdon London Underground National Rail
Liverpool Street London Underground London Overground National Rail
Whitechapel East London Line London Underground
Canary Wharf London Underground Docklands Light Railway
Custom House Docklands Light Railway
Stratford London Underground North London Line Docklands Light Railway National Rail
Royal Docks via
Connaught Tunnel
Maryland
River Thames
Forest Gate
Woolwich
Manor Park
North Kent Line
Ilford
Abbey Wood National Rail
Ilford depot
Belvedere
Seven Kings
Erith
Goodmayes
Slade Green National Rail
Chadwell Heath
Dartford National Rail
Romford National Rail London Overground
Stone Crossing
Gidea Park
Greenhithe
for Bluewater
Harold Wood
Swanscombe
Brentwood
Northfleet
Shenfield National Rail
Gravesend National Rail
Protected route
to Hoo Junction

Crossrail is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway line that is under construction in England. It is due to begin full operation in 2018, serving London and its environs by providing a new east-west route across Greater London. Work began in 2009 on the central part of the line—a tunnel through central London—and connections to existing lines that will become part of Crossrail after several decades of proposals.[4] It is one of Europe's largest railway and infrastructure construction projects.[5][6][7]

Crossrail's aim is to provide a high-frequency commuter/suburban passenger service that will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, via central London, to Essex and South East London. The new line will relieve the pressure on several London Underground lines such as the Central and District lines which are the current main east-west tube passenger routes, and the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly line.

The project's main feature is 42 km (26 miles) of new tunnels. The main tunnels will run from near Paddington Station to Stratford via central London and Liverpool Street Station.[8] An almost entirely new line will branch from the main line at Whitechapel in east London to Canary Wharf, crossing the River Thames, with a new station in Woolwich and connecting with the North Kent Line at Abbey Wood in south east London.

Services will run on 136 km (85 mi) of line from Reading[9] (63 km / 39 miles to the west of London) to Shenfield (to the north east) and Abbey Wood (to the south east). They will share parts of existing lines with existing services, mainly parts of the Great Western Main Line in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and London (between Reading and Paddington) and the Great Eastern Main Line in London and Essex (Stratford to Shenfield). Nine-car trains will run at frequencies of up to 24 trains per hour (tph) in each direction through the central tunnel section.

It is the first of two routes that are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd, the other being the proposed Chelsea–Hackney line. It is based on new mainline-gauge east-west tunnels from Paddington in the west to beyond Whitechapel in the east. Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) (now Crossrail Ltd) was formed in 2001 to deliver the scheme. The project was approved in October 2007, and the Crossrail Act received Royal Assent in July 2008.

Crossrail will be operated by MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd as a London Rail concession of Transport for London,[2] in a similar manner to the London Overground. Services will begin in May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield and will be extended to other parts of the route during 2018 and 2019.[1] The original plan was that the first trains would run from 2017. However, in 2010 a spending review aiming to save over £1 billion of the £15.9 billion projected cost meant that the first trains are now planned to run on the central section in 2018.[10]

History[edit]

Timeline of Crossrail
Date Event
1941-48 First proposals for cross-London railway tunnels put forward by George Dow and examined by the LCC
1974 DoE/GLC London Rail Study Report recommends a Paddington-Liverpool Street "Crossrail" tunnel
1989 Central London Rail Study proposes three Crossrail schemes, including an East-West Paddington/Marylebone-Liverpool Street route
1991 A private Bill promoted by London Underground and British Rail is submitted to Parliament, proposing a new Paddington-Liverpool Street rail tunnel; the bill is rejected by the Private Bill Committee in 1994.
2001 TfL & DoT promote the Crossrail scheme through Cross London Rail Links (CLRL)
2004 Senior railway managers promote the expanded regional Superlink scheme
2005 2005 Crossrail Bill put before Parliament
2008 The Crossrail Act 2008 receives Royal Assent on 22 July
2009 Construction work begins on 15 May 2009 at Canary Wharf
2015 MTR Crossrail takes over the first rail services out of Liverpool Street in June (see Services below)
2018 Core section tunnel to open to passenger services (December)
2019 Full Crossrail services Reading/Heathrow to Shenfield/Abbey Wood commence (December)
2026 Possible opening date for new Old Oak Common station

Planning and financing[edit]

1948 proposals[edit]

The concept of large-diameter railway tunnels crossing central London to connect Paddington and Liverpool Street main-line stations was proposed by railwayman George Dow in the London newspaper The Star in June 1941.[11] He also proposed north-south lines, anticipating the Thameslink lines of postwar years. The current Crossrail proposal has its origins in the 1943 County of London Plan and 1944 Greater London Plan by Sir Patrick Abercrombie. These led to a specialist investigation by the Railway (London Plan) Committee, appointed in 1944 and reporting in 1946 and 1948.[12] Route A would have run from Loughborough Junction to Euston, replacing Blackfriars bridge and largely serving the same purpose as today's Thameslink Programme. Route F would have connected Lewisham with Kilburn via Fenchurch Street, Bank, Ludgate Circus, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch and Marylebone. This was seen as a lower priority than Route A, but Route C was the only one built, as the Victoria line, but with smaller-diameter tube tunnels.

1974 proposals[edit]

The term 'Crossrail' emerged in the 1974 London Rail Study Report by a steering group set up by the Department of the Environment and the Greater London Council to look at future transport needs and strategic plans for London and the South East.[13] The report contained several options for new lines and extensions: the development of the Jubilee line (then called the Fleet Line) to Fenchurch Street; the Jubilee Line Extension (River Line) project; and the Chelsea-Hackney line. The re-opening of the Snow Hill Tunnel was proposed, as were two deep-level railway lines:[14][15]

  • Northern Tunnel, Paddington to Liverpool Street, via Marble Arch, Bond Street/Oxford Circus, Leicester Square/Covent Garden (interchange), and Holborn/Ludgate (close to Paternoster Square);
  • Southern Tunnel, Victoria to London Bridge, via Green Park/Piccadilly, Leicester Square/Covent Garden (interchange), Ludgate/Blackfriars, and Cannon Street/Monument.

The 1974 study estimated that 14,000 passengers would be carried in the peak hour in the northern tunnel between Paddington and Marble Arch and 21,000 between Liverpool Street and Ludgate Circus, which would also carry freight. Higher estimates were made for the southern tunnel. It commented that Crossrail would be similar to the RER in Paris and the Hamburg S-Bahn. Reference was also made to through services to Heathrow Airport. Although the idea was seen as imaginative, only a brief estimate of cost was given: £300 million. A feasibility study was recommended as a high priority so that the practicability and costs of the scheme could be determined. It was also suggested that the alignment of the tunnels should be safeguarded[16][non-primary source needed] while a final decision was taken.

1989 proposals[edit]

The "Central London Rail Study" (1989) proposed standard (BR) structure gauge tunnels linking the existing rail network as the "East-West Crossrail", "City Crossrail", and "North-South Crossrail" schemes. The East-West scheme was for a line from Liverpool Street to Paddington/Marylebone with two connections at its western end linking the tunnel to the Great Western Main Line and to the Metropolitan line. The City route was shown as a new connection across the City of London linking the Great Northern Route with London Bridge. The North-South line proposed routing West Coast Mainline, Thameslink and Great Northern Route trains through Euston and King's Cross/St Pancras, then under the West End via Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus and London Victoria towards Crystal Palace and Hounslow. The report also recommended a number of other schemes including a "Thameslink Metro" line enhancement, and a new underground Chelsea Hackney line. Cost of the east-west scheme including rolling stock was estimated at £885 million.[17]

In 1991 a private Bill was submitted to Parliament for a scheme including a new underground line from Paddington to Liverpool Street.[18] The bill was promoted by London Underground and British Rail, and supported by the government; the bill was rejected by the Private Bill Committee in 1994,[19] on the grounds that a case had not been made, though the Government issued "Safeguarding Directions", protecting the line route from development that would jeopardise future schemes.[20]

2001 proposals[edit]

The logo of Crossrail Ltd, the company set up to oversee the construction of the route

In 2001 Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), a 50/50 joint venture company between Transport for London and the Department of Transport, was formed to develop and promote the scheme,[21] and also a Wimbledon-Hackney scheme. In 2003 and 2004, over 50 days of exhibitions were held to explain the proposals at over 30 different locations.[22][non-primary source needed]

2004 Superlink proposal[edit]

Main article: Superlink

A more ambitious proposal named "Superlink" was proposed in 2004, at an estimated cost of £13 billion, including additional infrastructure work outside London: in addition to Crossrail's east-west tunnel, lines would connect towns including Cambridge, Ipswich, Southend, Pitsea, Reading, Basingstoke and Northampton. According to the scheme's promoters, the line would carry four times as many passengers and require a lower public subsidy as a result.[23] The proposal was rejected by Crossrail,[24] and failed to receive the backing of the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, or the Department of Transport.[25]

2005 Crossrail Bill and subsequent approval[edit]

The Crossrail Bill 2005, a hybrid bill, went through Parliament. The Crossrail Bill Select Committee met between December 2005 and October 2007.[26] The Select Committee announced an interim decision in July 2006 which called on the promoter to add a station at Woolwich. The Government initially responded that it would not do so as it would jeopardise the affordability of the whole scheme, but a subsequent agreement has made this possible. While the Bill was still in discussion, the Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly issued Safeguarding directions in force from 24 January 2008, which protect the path of the proposal and certain extensions beyond it from development which might prevent the crossrail proposal or possible future extensions.[27] In February 2008 the bill moved to the House of Lords, where it was amended by a committee of peers. The act received Royal Assent on 22 July 2008 as the Crossrail Act 2008.[28][non-primary source needed] The act is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement, plans and other related information.[29] The act gives Cross London Rail Links the powers necessary to build the line. In November 2008, while announcing an agreement for a £230 million contribution from BAA, Transport Minister Lord Adonis confirmed that funding was still in place despite the global economic downturn.[30] On 4 December 2008 it was announced that Transport for London and the Department for Transport had signed the Crossrail Sponsors' Agreement. This commits them to financing the project, then projected to cost £15.9 billion, alongside contributions from Network Rail, BAA and the City of London. The accompanying Crossrail Sponsors' Requirements commits them to the construction of the full scheme.[citation needed]

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Mayor of London Boris Johnson attended a ceremony at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009 when construction started.[31] On 7 September 2009, the project received £1 billion in funding. The money is being lent to Transport for London by the European Investment Bank.[32]

In the lead-up to the 2010 general election, both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party made manifesto commitments to deliver the railway. The new Transport Secretary, appointed in May 2010, confirmed that the new coalition government was committed to the project.[33] The original planned schedule was that the first trains would run in 2017. In 2010 a Comprehensive Spending Review identified savings of over £1 billion in projected costs, achieved by a simpler tunnelling strategy to reduce the number of tunnel boring machines and access shafts required. Construction will therefore be slower, and the first trains are now planned to run on the central section in 2018.[34]

Construction[edit]

Construction of the Crossrail portal at Royal Oak, from a footbridge to the west of Royal Oak tube station, July 2011
Construction of Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road in September 2011

In April 2009, Crossrail announced that 17 firms had secured 'Enabling Works Framework Agreements' and would now be able to compete for packages of works.[35] At the peak of construction up to 14,000 people are expected to be needed in the project's supply chain.[36][37]

Work began on 15 May 2009 when piling works started at the future Canary Wharf station.[38]

The threat of diseases being released by work on the project was raised by Lord James of Blackheath at the passing of the Crossrail Bill. He told the House of Lords select committee that 682 victims of anthrax had been brought into Smithfield in Farringdon with some contaminated meat in 1520 and then buried in the area.[39] On 24 June 2009 it was reported that no traces of anthrax or bubonic plague had been found on human bone fragments discovered during tunnelling.[40]

Invitations to tender for the two principal tunnelling contracts were published in the Official Journal of the European Union in August 2009. 'Tunnels West' (C300) was for twin 6.2 kilometres (3.9 mi)-long tunnels from Royal Oak through to the new Crossrail Farringdon Station, with a portal west of Paddington. The 'Tunnels East' (C305) request was for three tunnel sections and 'launch chambers' in east London.[41][non-primary source needed] Contracts were awarded in late 2010; 'Tunnels West' contract was awarded to BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier Construction; the 'Tunnels East' contract was awarded to Dragados and John Sisk & Son.[42][43] The remaining tunnelling contract (C310, Plumstead to North Woolwich), which included a tunnel under the Thames, was awarded to Hochtief and J. Murphy & Sons in 2011.[44]

By September 2009, preparatory work for the £1 billion developments at Tottenham Court Road station had begun, with buildings (including the Astoria Theatre) being compulsorily purchased and demolished.[45]

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'.[46] In December 2010, contracts were awarded for most of the tunnelling work.[47]

The second Tunnel Boring Machine "Ada" en route to the Royal Oak Portal, June 2012

In December 2011, a contract to ship the excavated material from the tunnel to Wallasea Island[48] was awarded to a joint venture comprising BAM Nuttall Limited and Van Oord UK limited.[49][50][non-primary source needed] Between 4.5 - 5 million tonnes of soil will be used to construct a new wetland nature reserve.[48][51]

The collapsed gantry (29 September 2012)

On 27 September 2012, a gantry supporting a spoil hopper at a construction site near Westbourne Park tube station used to load rail wagons with excavated waste collapsed, tipping sideways and causing the adjacent Network Rail line to be closed.[52][53]

In March 2013 excavations uncovered 13 skeletons 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) under the road that surrounds the gardens in Charterhouse Square, Farringdon. The remains are thought to be of victims of the Black Death from the 14th century.[54][55]

On 7 March 2014, Rene Tkacik, a Slovakian construction worker was killed by a piece of falling concrete while working in a tunnel.[56] On 26 April, The Observer newspaper reported details of a leaked internal report, compiled for the Crossrail contractors by an independent safety consultancy. The report was claimed to indicate poor industrial relations over safety issues and that workers were "too scared to report injuries for fear of being sacked".[57]

Eye of the Needle[edit]

The "Eye of the Needle" is a name that the contractors gave to a place at Tottenham Court Road station where the new tunnel has to go over an existing Northern line tunnel and at the same time under an escalator tunnel with less than a metre clearance from each.[58]

Design[edit]

Crossrail is based on new east-west tunnels under central London connecting the Great Western Main Line near Paddington and the Great Eastern Main Line near Stratford. An eastern branch diverges at Whitechapel, running through Docklands and emerging at Custom House on a disused part of the North London Line, and then under the River Thames to Abbey Wood. Trains will run from Reading[9][59] and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Services east of Stratford (to Shenfield) and west of Paddington (to Heathrow and Reading) will replace existing stopping services and run on existing slow lines.

The tunnelled sections will be about 22 kilometres (14 mi) in length.

Tunnels[edit]

There are five tunnelled sections, each with an internal diameter of 6.2 metres (20 ft)[60] (compared with the 3.81 metres (12.5 ft) for the deep-tube Victoria line), totalling 21 km (13 miles) in length: a 6.4 km (4.0 miles) tunnel from Royal Oak to Farringdon; an 8.3 km (5.2 miles) tunnel from Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon; a 2.7 km (1.7 miles) tunnel from Pudding Mill Lane to Stepney Green; a 2.6 km (1.6 miles) tunnel from Plumstead to North Woolwich (Thames tunnel section); and a 0.9 km (0.6 miles) tunnel from Limmo Peninsula (Royal Docks) to Victoria Dock portal which will re-use the Pudding Mill-Stepney tunnelling machines. Each section consists of two tunnels excavated at the same time – two TBMs per section. The tunnel linings will be constructed from concrete sections, some of which are produced in Chatham Dockyard then transported by barge to the Limmo Peninsula. Tunnelling is expected to progress at around 100 metres per week.[60] The main tunnelling contracts are valued at around £1.5 billion.[61]

Tunnel boring machines[edit]

The project uses eight 7.1m diameter tunnel-boring machines (TBM) from Herrenknecht AG (Germany). Two types are used; 'slurry' type for the Thames tunnel, which involves tunnelling through chalk; and 'Earth Pressure Balance Machines' (EPBM) for tunnelling through clay, sand and gravel (at lower levels through Lambeth Group and Thanet Sands ground formation). The TBMs weigh nearly 1,000 tonnes and are over 100 m long.[60][62]

The TBMs were named following tunnelling tradition. Crossrail ran a competition in January 2012 in which over 2500 entries were received and 10 pairs of names short listed. Following a public vote in February 2012, the first three pairs of names were announced on 13 March.[63]

On 16 August 2013, the two names for the last pair of TBMs were announced.[64]

CrossrailLine1Map.svg

Western section[edit]

A platform at Heathrow Central

The western section is on the surface from Reading to Acton Main Line, with an underground spur to Heathrow Airport, and upgrading stations: Maidenhead, Taplow, Burnham, Slough, Langley, Iver, West Drayton, Hayes and Harlington, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Acton Main Line. Reading station has already been redeveloped.

The Heathrow branch includes stations at Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Central and joins the main route at Airport Junction, between West Drayton and Hayes & Harlington.

The route had been planned to end at Maidenhead, with an extension to Reading safeguarded.[27] On 27 March 2014, it was announced that the line will go to Reading.[9][59][65]

Central section[edit]

The central tunnels run from a portal just west of London Paddington station to Whitechapel, with further tunnelling to Stratford and to Canary Wharf.

There will be new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf, with interchange with the London Underground, other National Rail services and the Docklands Light Railway. Due to the size and positioning of new platforms, some will be connected to two underground stations.

Eastern sections[edit]

Whitechapel to Shenfield[edit]

Stratford will be a major interchange point for rail services and the Olympic stadium

This section runs underground from Whitechapel to Stratford then on the surface on existing lines. It will include the following stations: Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood, and Shenfield.

Maryland was not included until 7 August 2006, when selective door opening was agreed so that the station would be accessible.[66]

Whitechapel to Abbey Wood[edit]

This section runs underground from Whitechapel to Canary Wharf, then to Abbey Wood. It takes over the disused Custom House to North Woolwich via Connaught tunnel stretch of the North London Line, built by the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway, and connects it with the North Kent Line via a tunnel under the River Thames at North Woolwich. It will include a 'station box' at Woolwich, subject to resolution of the 2007 outline funding agreement with developer Berkeley Homes.[67][non-primary source needed]

Restoration of the Connaught tunnel by filling with concrete foam and reboring, as originally intended, was deemed too great a risk to the structural integrity of the tunnel, and so the docks above were drained to give access to the tunnel roof in order to enlarge its profile. This work took place during 2013.[68][69]

The following stations are on the protected[citation needed] route extension to Gravesend: Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe for Bluewater, Swanscombe, Northfleet, and Gravesend.

Services[edit]

Main article: MTR Crossrail

On the central segment between Paddington and Whitechapel stations will be served by 24 'trains per hour' (tph) at peak times. To the east, this splits into 12 to Abbey Wood and 12 to Shenfield (supplemented by 6 tph National Rail service into Liverpool Street).[citation needed] To the west, the initial plan is for 14 tph to terminate at Paddington, but this is under review for the longer term (see "Extensions to Milton Keynes" below). Of the remaining 10, 4 branch off to Heathrow (supplemented by 4 Heathrow Express trains), 2 continue to West Drayton and 4 to Maidenhead.[70][non-primary source needed]

Section Morning peak
Crossrail service
Off-peak
Crossrail services
Other peak services Other Off-peak services
Central Section[70]
(Paddington to Whitechapel)
24tph unknown none none
Shenfield branch[70][71] 12tph 6tph To Liverpool Street mainline station;
6tph serving all stations except Manor Park, Harold Wood & Brentwood
4tph serving only Shenfield
To Liverpool Street mainline station;
2tph serving Stratford, Romford and Shenfield
3tph serving Stratford and Shenfield
Abbey Wood branch[70][72] 12tph unknown none none
Reading and
Heathrow branches[70][73]
4tph to Heathrow
2tph to West Drayton
2tph to Maidenhead
2tph to Reading
4tph to Heathrow
2tph to West Drayton
2tph to Maidenhead
2tph to Reading
To Paddington mainline station;
2tph to Reading serving Reading, Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough and Ealing Broadway only.
4tph Heathrow Express serving Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3 only.
To Paddington mainline station;
2tph to Reading serving Reading, Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough and Ealing Broadway only.
4tph Heathrow Express serving Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3 only.

Start of services[edit]

A full east-west service will not begin until December 2019 due to signalling changes on the Great Western Main Line, though service through the central section will begin in December 2018. Branches will be transferred to TfL for inclusion in the Crossrail concession before this date however, with services commencing in several stages from May 2015:[74][75]

Stage Date Notes
Stage 0 May 2015 Existing Liverpool Street (mainline) to Shenfield metro services transferred from Abellio Greater Anglia
Stage 1 Beginning May 2017 Class 345 units begin to be brought into service
Stage 2 May 2018 Heathrow Connect services from Paddington (mainline) to Heathrow Terminal 4 transferred from First Great Western/Heathrow Airport Holdings along with part of First Great Western's inner suburban service.
Stage 3 December 2018 Services begin on the core section from Paddington (Crossrail) to Abbey Wood
Stage 4 May 2019 Service begins on the core section from Paddington (Crossrail) to Shenfield
Stage 5 December 2019 Remaining services transferred from First Great Western with through services commencing from Reading & Heathrow to Shenfield & Abbey Wood

Although a 24tph service will be run from opening, the line has been built with redundant capacity to allow for growth. When required, 32tph could operate; combined with two extra cars per train, this would allow a 30–40% capacity increase.[76]

Signalling[edit]

The signalling will be a mixture of ETCS 2 on the western branches from 2019, CBTC with ATO on the core and Abbey Wood branch (with a possible later upgrade to ETCS), and AWS with TPWS on the Great Eastern Main Line.[74][77][non-primary source needed][78]

Electrification[edit]

Crossrail will use 25 kV, 50 Hz AC overhead line, as on the Great Eastern Main Line and the Great Western Main Line as far as Heathrow, rather than the fourth-rail electrification used by the London Underground or the third rail on the North Kent line. Overhead electrification will be installed between Heathrow Airport junction and Reading as part of the Crossrail project and Great Western Main Line upgrade.

Rolling stock[edit]

Artist's impression of the Class 345 Aventra

Crossrail has registered the designation Class 345 for its trains.[79] The requirement is for 65 trains, each 200 m long and carrying up to 1,500 passengers.[79] The trains will be disabled-accessible, including dedicated areas for wheelchairs, with audio and visual announcements, CCTV and speaker phones to the driver in case of emergency.[80] Crossrail has stated that the new trains will be based on existing designs to minimise costs associated with development.[81][non-primary source needed]

They are intended to run at up to 160 kilometres per hour (100 mph) on the surface and 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) in the tunnels.[82][contradictory] The government's rolling stock plan (2008) expected that the stock for Crossrail would be similar to the new rolling stock procured for the Thameslink Programme and would displace Class 315 EMUs, Class 165 DMUs and Class 360/2 EMUs for use elsewhere on the national network.[83]

In March 2011, Crossrail announced that five bidders had been shortlisted for the contract to build the Class 345 and its associated depot.[84] One of the bidders, Alstom, withdrew from the process in July 2011. In February 2012 Crossrail issued an invitation to negotiate to CAF, Siemens, Hitachi and Bombardier, with tenders expected to be submitted in mid-2012.[85]

Siemens will provide signalling and control systems for Crossrail.[86]

On 6 February 2014, Transport for London and the Department for Transport announced that the contract to build and maintain the new rolling stock had been awarded to Bombardier Transportation.[3] The contract between TfL and Bombardier covers the supply, delivery and maintenance of 65 new trains and a depot at Old Oak Common. The trains will be built at Bombardier's Litchurch Lane manufacturing facility in Derby. This contract will support around 760 UK manufacturing jobs plus 80 apprenticeships. An estimated 74 per cent of contract spend is expected to remain in the UK economy.[87] The design will be based on Bombardier's new flagship platform Aventra.

Initial services[edit]

Crossrail will initially use Class 315 units until its new trains are delivered

Although Crossrail's main through service will not begin until around 2019, the operator itself will start running services from May 2015, when it takes over the operation of the local service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield from Abellio Greater Anglia. For these services it will take over a number of GA's Class 315 EMUs until the Class 345 units have been delivered and commissioned.

Stations[edit]

Crossrail requires significant work on station infrastructure. Although initially the trains will be 200 metres long, platforms at the ten new stations in the central core are being built to enable 240-metre-long trains in case passenger numbers make this necessary. At existing stations platforms will be lengthened accordingly.[88]

Maryland and Manor Park will not have platform extensions, so they will use selective door opening.[89] For Maryland this is because of the prohibitive cost of extensions and the poor business case,[90] and for Manor Park it is due to a freight loop that would otherwise be cut off.[91]

A mock-up of the new stations has been built in Bedfordshire to ensure that their architectural integrity would last for a century.[88] It is planned to bring at least one mock-up to London for the public to try out the design and give feedback before final construction takes place.[92]

Of the 40 stations, 32 will have step-free access to both platforms;[93] train doors will be level with the platforms at central stations and at Heathrow. The stations will be fully equipped with CCTV[80][non-primary source needed] and, due to the length of the platforms, train indicators will be above the platform-edge doors in central stations.[92]

Depot[edit]

Crossrail will have two depots, in west London at Old Oak Common and east London at Ilford.[94][non-primary source needed]

A Transport and Works Act Order has been submitted for an extra depot at Plumstead. This will be in addition to the Network rail sidings nearer to Plumstead station.[95]

Ticketing[edit]

Unofficial Tube map which integrates Crossrail and future additions of London Overground into the current Underground network.

Ticketing is intended to be integrated with the other London transport systems, and Oyster pay as you go will be valid. Travelcards will be valid within Greater London with the exception of the Heathrow branch, which will continue to be subject to special fares.[citation needed] Crossrail has often been compared to Paris' RER system due to the length of the central tunnel. Crossrail will be integrated with the London Underground and National Rail networks, and it is planned to include it on the standard London Underground Map.

Brand identity[edit]

Crossrail uses a version of the Transport for London roundel, coloured purple with a blue bar and the Crossrail name in TfL's New Johnston font.[96]

Plans[edit]

New stations[edit]

Old Oak Common[edit]

The planned site for the Old Oak Common High Speed 2 / Crossrail interchange

As part of the former Labour government's plans for the High Speed 2 rail link from London to Birmingham, a Crossrail-High Speed 2 interchange would be built at Old Oak Common (between Paddington and Acton Main Line stations). This would be built as part of High Speed 2 (which would start construction, under Labour's plans, in 2017), so would not be built in the first phase of Crossrail. It would provide interchange to other mainline and TfL lines. The succeeding Conservative-Liberal Democrat government adopted that proposal in the plans it put forward for public consultation. This means it is likely to go forward as part of High Speed 2, potentially giving Crossrail an interchange with High Speed 2, the Great Western Main Line (GWML), Central line and London Overground services running through the area.

This would lead to the demolition of the Old Oak Common MPD, the last steam-era shed still standing in London. It was announced in 2008 that Crossrail had acquired the shed, with the indication that the shed would have to go before Crossrail opened in 2014. This related to the original G. J. Churchward-designed roundhouse (originally housed four turntables, now reduced to one), and the British Railways-built Blue Pullman shed built to house the Class 251 and 261 trains running between London Paddington, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Bristol. The compulsory purchase order used to acquire Old Oak Common does not include the carriage workshop there, or the Old Oak Common TMD used by FGW further down the line.[citation needed]

Kensal[edit]

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is pushing for an additional station in the north of the Borough, east of Old Oak Common, at Kensal[97] off Ladbroke Grove and Canal Way. A turn-back facility will have to be built not far west of Paddington anyway, and siting it at Kensal, rather than next to Paddington itself, would provide a frequent service to the new station, helping to regenerate the area.[98][99][100] Mayor Boris Johnson stated that a station would be added if it met three tests: it must not delay construction of Crossrail; it must not compromise performance of Crossrail or any other railway; and it must not increase Crossrail's overall cost. In response, Kensington and Chelsea Council agreed to underwrite the projected £33 million cost of a Crossrail station, to the extent that section 106 payments from the promoters of property developments expected near the station do not reach this sum.[101] The Council also funded a consultancy study which concluded that in many scenarios a Kensal station would not compromise Crossrail performance. TfL is conducting a feasibility study on the station. The project is supported by local MPs, the residents of the Borough, National Grid, retailers Sainsbury's and Cath Kidston, and Jenny Jones (Green Party member of the London Assembly).[102] It is also supported by the adjoining London Borough of Brent.[103] If the station goes ahead Kensington & Chelsea Council would like to see it called Portobello Central, capitalising on the fashionable Portobello Road market the main part of which is a half a mile to the south.[104]

Silvertown[edit]

Crossrail takes over the old North London Line (NLL) alignment east of Custom House. On the south side of the docks there used to be a station at Silvertown. This is being demolished, but there will be passive provision for a new station slightly to the east. This would serve London City Airport (now served by London City Airport DLR station), and construction will be considered after local development. There is no provision for it in the Crossrail Act, and it will not be part of the initial construction. For now it is considered that the DLR provides adequate service to the areas served by the former Silvertown and North Woolwich NLL stations. The DLR service is more frequent than the former NLL service to North Woolwich.[105][106][non-primary source needed]

Extensions[edit]

Outline map of the possible future Crossrail extensions as recommended in the 2011 RUS[107]

To Reading[edit]

According to the original plans, the western terminus of Crossrail was planned to be Maidenhead. Various commentators advocated an extension of the route further west as far as Reading, especially as it was seen as complementary to the Great Western Electrification project which was announced in July 2009.[108] A Reading terminus was also recommended by Network Rail's 2011 Route Utilisation Strategy.[109]

The UK Government and Transport for London evaluated the option of extending to Reading[110] and in March 2014 it was announced that the extension from Maidenhead to Reading would form part of the core Crossrail network from the outset.[9][59][65]

There is controversy about Crossrail in Reading. The Labour council supports an extension to Reading[111] but the Conservative MP for Reading East, Rob Wilson, has expressed concerns that Crossrail trains (which will call at every station) will actually be slower than the present Reading-Paddington service. According to Wilson, "We need the right Crossrail, not any Crossrail".[112]

To the West Coast Main Line[edit]

Network Rail's July 2011 London & South East Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) recommended diverting West Coast Main Line (WCML) services from stations between London and Milton Keynes Central away from Euston, to Crossrail via Old Oak Common, to free up capacity at Euston for High Speed 2. This would provide a direct service from the WCML to the West End, Canary Wharf and other key destinations, release London Underground capacity at Euston, make better use of Crossrail's capacity west of Paddington, and improve access to Heathrow Airport from the North.[113] Under this scheme, all Crossrail trains would continue west of Paddington, instead of some of them terminating there. They would serve Heathrow Airport (10 tph), stations to Maidenhead and Reading (6 tph), and stations to Milton Keynes Central (8 tph).[114]

In August 2014, a statement by the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin indicated that the government was actively evaluating the extension of Crossrail as far as Tring, with potential Crossrail stops at Harrow & Wealdstone, Bushey, Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted. The extension would relieve some pressure from London Underground and London Euston station while also increasing connectivity. Conditions to the extension are that any extra services would not affect the planned service pattern for confirmed routes, as well as affordability.[115][116]

To Gravesend[edit]

The route to Gravesend has been safeguarded by the Department for Transport, although it was made clear that as at February 2008 there was no plan to extend Crossrail beyond the then-current scheme.[117]

Heathrow Express[edit]

The RUS also proposes integrating Heathrow Express into Crossrail to relieve the GWML and reduce the need for passengers to change at Paddington.[118]

New lines[edit]

Crossrail 2 (Chelsea-Hackney)[edit]

Main article: Crossrail 2

A route for Crossrail 2 had been safeguarded since 1991 and in 2007 was renewed following a consultation. Originally the 'Chelsea-Hackney' or 'Chelney' line had the proposed route of starting at Wimbledon, sharing the District line on its Wimbledon branch as far as Parsons Green, diverting to a new tunnel where a new station at Chelsea was to be built, then cutting through the centre of London calling at the major stations of Victoria and King's Cross St Pancras. Then it would have gone across the city and joined the London Overground's North London Line services from Hackney to Homerton to join up with the Central line, taking over the running of the Epping branch of the line.

However in 2013, these plans changed. Crossrail 2 will still connect the south-west with the north-east, but instead Crossrail 2 will start with several branches from the south west which is currently being served by South West Trains, heading for destinations such as Shepperton, Twickenham, Hampton Court, Epsom, and Chessington South providing links to Surrey. The lines will all converge at Raynes Park, then they head towards Wimbledon, but instead of serving the District line they will instead go to Tooting Broadway, and Clapham Junction. Then Crossrail 2 will serve the new station at Chelsea as planned, as well as serving Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston King's Cross St. Pancras, which will serve both underground stations and all three mainline stations. From there it will call at Angel.

Then the line will divide into two branches. The original plan from 2013 called for the first of these, which will be brand new, to call at Dalston Junction, Seven Sisters, Turnpike Lane and terminate at Alexandra Palace. The other branch would start from Hackney Central/Hackney Downs, then it will be linked up to the Lea Valley Lines at Tottenham Hale and would probably serve all stations from there on that branch in a semi-fast fashion, as there is discussion for a fast service as well to Cheshunt and Broxbourne and then serve all the stations on the Hertford East Branch Line in Hertfordshire.

A consultation started in June 2014, modifying the above proposals, including extending the Alexandra Palace branch to New Southgate, relocating or removing the Chelsea station, and moving the point of division of the northern end of the line to after Dalston Junction or Hackney Downs, with Crossrail 2 calling at only one of the two stations.[119]

Originally this line was also proposed to be a new London Underground line, but it seems that it is more likely now to be more beneficial being a part of the Crossrail network.

Crossrail 3[edit]

Crossrail 3, backed by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and incumbent Boris Johnson, would include a 4-kilometre underground section in new tunnels connecting Euston and Waterloo, connecting the West Coast Main Line corridor with services to the south.[120] However, Crossrail 3 is an unofficial proposal and not within the remit of Cross London Rail Links Ltd (and is not safeguarded as Crossrail 2 is).

Management and franchise[edit]

Crossrail is being built by Crossrail Ltd, jointly owned by Transport for London and the Department for Transport until December 2008, when full ownership was transferred to TfL. Crossrail has a £15.9 billion funding package in place[121] for the construction of the line. Although the branch lines to the west and to Shenfield will still be owned by Network Rail, the tunnel will be owned and operated by TfL.[122]

On 18 July 2014, TfL London Rail said that MTR Corp had won the concession to operate the services for 8 years, with an option for 2 more years.[2] The concession will be similar to London Overground.[123][non-primary source needed] It is planned to initially let the franchise for 8 years from 2015,[2] taking over control of Shenfield metro services from Greater Anglia in May 2015,[2] and Maidenhead / Heathrow services from First Great Western in 2016.[75]

In anticipation of an April 2015 transfer of Shenfield to Liverpool Street services from the Greater Anglia franchise to Crossrail, the invitation to tender for the 2012–2013 franchise requires the new rail operator to set up a separate "Crossrail Business Unit" for those services before the end of 2012. This unit would allow transfer of services to the new Crossrail Train Operating Concession (CTOC) operator during the next franchise, or if the 2012–2013 franchise implements the optional 1-year extension.[122] The scope of the franchise may include, in addition to the main Shenfield-Liverpool Street services, additional peak services terminating at Liverpool Street main line and the Romford to Upminster shuttle.[124]

Controversy[edit]

The Tottenham Court Road construction site (2009). This included the former site of the London Astoria music venue

Some East London politicians objected to the scheme, which they saw as an expensive service that will primarily benefit City and Docklands businesses and bring much disruption to East London.[125] As a result, the tunnelling strategy was changed to remove excavated material by barge from Leamouth rather than the originally proposed complex conveyor system in Mile End.

Some freight-train operators, including DB Schenker Rail (UK) (then EWS), opposed the current plan because they claimed it would use up much of the remaining rail capacity and not provide the necessary extra capacity on connecting lines. This would make it harder to route freight services from the southern ports to the north and would increase freight transit times.

There had been complaints from music fans, as the redevelopment of the area forced the closure of a number of historic music venues. The London Astoria,[126] the Astoria 2, The Metro, Sin nightclub and The Ghetto have been demolished to allow expansion of the ticket hall and congestion relief at Tottenham Court Road tube station in advance of the arrival of Crossrail.

There was considerable annoyance in Reading that Crossrail would terminate at Maidenhead, not Reading.[127] However, the promoters and the government had always stressed that there was nothing to prevent extension to Reading in future if it could be justified. In February 2008 it was announced that the route for an extension to Reading was being safeguarded.[128] This became more likely once the government announced that the Great Western Main Line is to be electrified beyond Reading regardless of Crossrail. On 27 March 2014 it was announced that the route would indeed be extended to Reading.[129]

In February 2010, Crossrail was accused of bullying residents whose property lay on the route into selling for less than the market value.[130] A subsequent London Assembly report was highly critical of the insensitive way in which Crossrail had dealt with compulsory purchases and the lack of assistance given to the people and businesses affected.[131]

See also[edit]

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Sources[edit]

News reports

External links[edit]