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7th February 2012

Charles Devereux, Head of Operations, Crossrail

For this month, we welcomed Charles Devereux (Head of Operations, Crossrail) who gave a wonderfully detailed insight into the changes being made “below the streets of London”.

The history

January 1989 - Central London Rail Study. 1991/1994 - First Crossrail Bill Submitted/Rejected. September 2003 A Business Case for Crossrail Developed. The headlines - Scheduled to open in 2018. World Class. Affordable. Built to last. Leaving a legacy.

ln the beginning

February 2005 - The Crossrail bill was passed by parliament. It was the longest transition through parliament of any bill in history. All technology, routes and local landowners were taken into consideration during the process. Recent threat from government spending revue and considerable local objections.

July 2008 - Royal assent gained. December 2008 - Funding agreement signed. January 2009 - Construction commences.

The facts-

Crossrail is needed! A route to interweave through existing ‘overground’ lines and tube tunnels. Fully integrated with other forms of transport throughout London. Up to 4000 buildings and 50 other LUL tunnels in close proximity, Purpose built tunnels from Westboume Park (Paddington) through to Pudding Mill and Royal Victoria. Use of existing lines to Heathrow/Maidenhead, plus Stratford/Shenfield & Abbey Wood. (90km of existing surface lines in total). Independent analysis predicts significant employment and population growth on the east-west axis.

ln a world without Crossrail, the following will still occur- 636,000 new jobs created in London (2001 -2016).

If only 50% ofthese workers use rail, then 318,000 new people will use the existing rail infrastructure.

Crossrail will provide significant relief to the existing Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan tube lines, and also alleviate crunch points of other lines/interchanges.

The figures-

Fast running beneath London f up to 60 mph.

Maidenhead - Liverpool Street: To be 51 mins (currently 85mins). Paddington - Liverpool Street: 9 mins (24 mins).

Heathrow Airport - Canary Wharf: 43 mins (71 mins). Bond Street - Shenfield: 47 mins (57 mins).

The new trains & stations

Built to W6 gauge. 18% lighter than existing trains. Up to 1500 passengers. 450 seats. 200m in length.

The tender for the actual trains is expected to be let during 2012. At peak times, trains will run up to every 2mins.   Up to 30 trains per hour, giving capacity for 45,000 passengers in each direction. 27 stations to be served by Crossrail.

61 platform extensions to current stations. 146km of electrification. A new flyover at Airport Junction (Hayes).

New station layouts at Maidenhead & Abbey Wood.

The tunnels

21 km of new twin-bore tunnels underneath London. 8 new sub-surface stations. 7 tunnel boring machines used during construction. 6m diameter tunnels, compared to 3.81m on the existing Victoria line. Each machine is 120m in length and is cap able of boring up to 40m per day or up to 200km per month. 60mph running through tunnel sections. All stations to have platform edge doors, except Custom House.

The London terrain is complex: clay, building foundations, other tube lines and underground springs all have to be taken into consideration. Air conditioning in tunnels and stations require wider tunnelling to allow for airflow. Enhanced train designs to accommodate air conditioning. Greater technology as a result. Re-generative braking. Less power used = less heat created. Floating slab track (on springs) to reduce noise to residents/business’s above the route. Evacuation walkways throughout the length of the tunnels. Tunnel Academy has been set up to develop/retain skills.

The other bits

Active talk of Crossrail '2'. Skills and knowledge transfer to future projects. Excavated waste material (to Wallasea Island RSPB land reclamation bird sanctuary)- 14% carried by rail. 39% by barge. 47% by road.

Grade l listed problems on existing stations and adjacent properties.

Old Oak Common Depot- Currently being used as a construction site and a materials stockpile. Upon completion oft he project it will become the new depot in West London. The vacant site at North Pole was considered, but not taken up due to the likely congestion when crossing the existing track formation. Track alterations- Re-modelling of Kensal Green area. A freight flyover at Acton Yard.