Posted 5 months ago
Crossrail proceeds at speed
Last week London's Crossrail project reached a milestone, all the track having now been laid for £14.8billion Elizabeth Line, in time for train services to begin running in December 2018.
The line will cover more than 60 miles, from Reading to the west of the capital, through the City via an intricate network of tunnels and out to Sheffield and Abbey Wood in the east. The route will serve more than 200 million people a year via 41 fully-accessible station stops - 10 brand-new and 30 upgraded.
Construction on Crossrail began in 2009 with more than 1,000 skilled workers installing 63,000 sleepers, 51.4km of rail and more than 800 sections of long welded rail. Holding it all together, over 13,500 cubic metres of concrete has been made and poured by the 'big yellow train', an impressive 465m long concreting train.
The Transport Secretary attended a ceremony at Whitechapel Station and personally attached the final track clips. He said that laying the final piece of track was a 'hugely significant milestone' for Europe's biggest infrastructure project.
Mr Grayling said: “The Elizabeth line will transform rail transport in London with better and faster journeys for passengers, and the official completion of the track is a hugely significant milestone towards delivering this scheme on time and within available funding.
“But this isn’t just a success story for London. Crossrail, Europe’s biggest construction project, has created jobs and driven economic growth across the UK with companies based here winning 96% of the scheme’s contracts.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The completion of the Elizabeth line track is a huge milestone on the way to finishing a project that will transform transport across London and the south east.
“With brand new trains and step-free stations, the Elizabeth line will provide a truly world-class service for passengers, and this important landmark is testament to the hard work and expertise of all the men and women who have been working on the project.”
Sir Terry Morgan, Chairman for Crossrail, said: “The completion of the permanent track brings us another crucial step closer to the Elizabeth line opening in December 2018. We’re delighted to be officially marking this important milestone as it also signifies a great achievement for all the dedicated men and women who are working on the project.
Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line Operations Director, Howard Smith, said: “It’s a huge moment in the project, turning it from a construction project into a railway, with around 15 months until our customers ride the first trains beneath the streets of London. Crossrail will continue working hard to fit-out the line and stations ahead of TfL preparing to run and maintain the Elizabeth line from next year.”
Trains will begin running from December next year, with the Elizabeth line linking Berkshire in the west with Essex in the east.
An artistic addition...
A local artist has been selected from an international shortlist to create a mile-long artwork for the Elizabeth Line. It will be one of the longest artworks ever commissioned in the UK and will run between Custom House and North Woolwich stations.
Charged with bringing the new line to life, Sonia Boyce, who grew up in Canning Town, will work with the local community to create a piece that represents the area's rich and diverse history. Through a series of workshops Sonia will draw on people's collective memories and experiences to create the installation, which will be overseen and curated by UP Projects on behalf of Crossrail.
Emma Underhill, Director at UP Projects, said: “We believe that art can empower communities and enrich public spaces, so we are delighted to be working on such an ambitious project that has the local community at its heart.”