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Crossrail logo
  Crossrail 1
Legend
Protected route  
Unknown route-map component "uexKBFa"
  Reading National Rail
 
Unknown route-map component "uexHST"
  Twyford
 
Head station
 Maidenhead National Rail
 
Stop on track
 Taplow
 
Stop on track
 Burnham
 
Station on track
 Slough National Rail
Heathrow Terminal 4 Airport interchange London Underground 
Unknown route-map component "tINTa" Stop on track
 Langley
Heathrow Central Airport interchange London Underground 
Unknown route-map component "tINT" Stop on track
 Iver
 
Exit tunnel Stop on track
 West Drayton
 
Track turning left Junction from right
 
 
Station on track
 Hayes and Harlington
 
Stop on track
 Southall
 
Stop on track
 Hanwell
 
Stop on track
 West Ealing
 
Interchange on track
 Ealing Broadway London Underground
 
Unknown route-map component "KHSTxe"
 Acton Main Line
 
Unknown route-map component "exINT"
 HS2 interchange National Rail
 
Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELa"
 
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Paddington London Underground National Rail
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Bond Street London Underground
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Tottenham Court Road London Underground
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Farringdon London Underground National Rail
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Liverpool Street London Underground National Rail
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTR" + Interchange
  Whitechapel London Overground London Underground
 
Unknown route-map component "extSTRrg"
Unknown route-map component "extSTRrf" + Unknown route-map component "extSTR"
 
Canary Wharf  
Unknown route-map component "extHST" Unknown route-map component "extSTR"
 
 
Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELe" Unknown route-map component "exTUNNELe"
 
Custom House Docklands Light Railway  
Unknown route-map component "xINTa" Unknown route-map component "xINTa"
  Stratford London Underground London Overground Docklands Light Railway National Rail
Connaught Tunnel  
Enter and exit short tunnel Stop on track
  Maryland
River Thames  
Unknown route-map component "exWTUNNEL" Stop on track
  Forest Gate
Woolwich  
Unknown route-map component "exHST" Stop on track
  Manor Park
Abbey Wood for Thamesmead National Rail  
Unknown route-map component "exKBHFe" Station on track
  Ilford
Belvedere  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Seven Kings
Erith  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Goodmayes
Slade Green  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Chadwell Heath
Dartford National Rail  
Unknown route-map component "uexBHF" Station on track
  Romford National Rail
Stone Crossing  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Gidea Park
Greenhithe for Bluewater  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Harold Wood
Swanscombe  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" Stop on track
  Brentwood
Northfleet  
Unknown route-map component "uexHST" End station
  Shenfield National Rail
Gravesend National Rail  
Unknown route-map component "uexBHF"
 
Protected route to Hoo Junction  
Unused urban continuation forward
 

Crossrail is a project to build major new railway connections under central London. The project's name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Cross London Rail Links Ltd. It is based around an east-west tunnel with a central section from Paddington to Liverpool Street station. The second route is the Chelsea–Hackney line. The project was approved in October 2007 and the Crossrail Act received Royal Assent in July 2008. The final funding agreement, which committed full finance for the project, was signed in late 2008.

The first trains are due to run in 2017, with services complementing the enhanced north-south Thameslink route. 10-carriage trains will run at frequencies of up to 24 trains per hour (tph) in each direction through the central tunnel section.

Contents

History

Planning and financing

Robert Stephenson proposed to extend the main line from Euston terminus through a tunnel under Gower Street and Covent Garden to the Savoy Wharf on the Thames in 1836. Plans were not progressed due to the limitations of steam trains.[1]

The Central London Rail Study of 1989 proposed an East-West Crossrail (now 'Crossrail') and in 1991, a Bill was submitted to Parliament for the scheme. The bill was rejected in 1994 due to the recession at the time.[1]

In 2001 Cross London Rail Links, A 50/50 joint venture company was formed to develop and promote the scheme 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.[1]

The Crossrail Bill 2005, a Hybrid Bill went through Parliament. The Crossrail Bill Select Committee met between December 2005 and October 2007.[2] 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 will not do so as it would jeopardise the affordability of the whole scheme but a subsequent agreement has made this possible.

In February 2008, the Bill moved to the House of Lords where it was debated, amended and scrutinised by a Committee of peers. The Act received Royal Assent on 22 July 2008 as the Crossrail Act 2008.[3] The Bill is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement, plans and other related information.[4] The bill gives Cross London Rail Links the powers necessary to construct the line.

In November 2008, while announcing an agreement for a £230m contribution from BAA, transport minister Lord Adonis confirmed that funding was still in place in spite of the global economic downturn.[5]

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 full cost of the project, 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.

Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London attended a ceremony at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009 when construction of the project started.[6]

On 7 September 2009 the project received £1bn in funding. The money is being lent to Transport for London by the European Investment Bank.[7]

Services will begin in 2017 providing there are no delays caused by unexpected legal, construction or financial difficulties.[8]

Construction

In April 2009 Crossrail announced that 17 firms had secured 'Enabling Works Framework Agreements' and these companies would now be able to compete for packages of enabling works.

Work on the route itself officially began on 15 May 2009 with the commencement of piling works at the future Canary Wharf station.[9]

The threat of diseases being released by work on the Crossrail project were originally raised by Lord James of Blackheath at the passing of the Crossrail Bill. Lord James told the House of Lords Crossrail Bill 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.[10] On 24 June 2009 it was reported that no traces of anthrax or bubonic plague had been found on human bone fragments found during tunnelling work.[11]

Invitations to tender for the two principle tunnelings contracts were published in the Official Journal of the European Union in August 2009. 'Tunnels West' 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' request was for three tunnel sections and 'launch chambers' in east London.[12]

By September 2009 preparatory work for the £1billion developments at Tottenham Court Road station has begun, with a number of buildings (including the Astoria Theatre) being compulsorily purchased and demolished.[13]

In March 2010 contracts for the second round of 'enabling work' were awarded to a number of civil engineering companies 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'.[14]

Design

The Crossrail line is based around a new set of east-west tunnels under central London connecting the Great Western Main Line near Paddington to 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, then under the River Thames, to Abbey Wood. Trains will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, taking over the existing stopping services on those routes.

The tunnelled section of the line will be about 22 kilometres (14 mi) in length: a difficult and expensive piece of engineering, because of two factors: London’s geology, and the extensive tunnelling that already exists in central London. Its twin circular tunnels will have an internal diameter of 6 metres (20 ft),[15] compared with the 3.8 metres (12 ft) diameter of existing deep Tube lines. Rather than the fourth rail electrification used by the London Underground or third rail on the existing North Kent line, 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. The central tunnelled section will weave between existing Tube and road tunnels.[16]

Most existing stations on the route will receive platform extensions, and a significant number will be completely rebuilt. All new lines will be electrified at 25 kV AC 50 Hz, and overhead electrification will be installed between Heathrow Airport junction and Maidenhead. CrossrailLine1Map.svg

Western section

The western section is to be built at the surface with the main route running from Maidenhead to Action Main Line Station with a underground spur to Heathrow. The main route will include upgrading all the stations: Maidenhead, Taplow, Burnham, Slough, Langley, Iver, West Drayton, Hayes and Harlington, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Acton Main Line.

The Heathrow branch includes stations at Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Central and will join the main route at Airport Junction, between West Drayton & Hayes and Harlington.[citation needed]

The following additional stations were protected in October 2009: Reading, Twyford[citation needed]

Central section

The central tunnels run from Acton Main Line station to Whitechapel with further tunnelling to Stratford Station and to Canary Wharf.

There will be new subterranean stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs, each offering interchange with the London Underground, National Rail, London Overground or the Docklands Light Railway. Due to the size and positioning of new platforms required for these stations some will be directly connected to multiple underground stations.

Eastern sections

Whitechapel to Shenfield

This section runs underground from Whitechapel as far as Stratford and then at surface level for the rest of the route on an existing route.

It will use the following stations: Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood, Shenfield

Maryland was not included until 7 August 2006 when selective door opening was agreed so that the station would be accessible.[17]

Whitechapel to Abbeywood

The section runs underground from Whitechapel to Canary Wharf and then at surface level as far as Abbey Wood. This section running under the Thames at North Woolwich and including a new station at Woolwich. It connects the reused former part of the North London Line with the North Kent Line.

The following stations are on the protected route extension to Hoo Junction as of October 2009: Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe for Bluewater, Swanscombe, Northfleet, Gravesend

Rolling stock

Sixty-five new trains are planned to be constructed for use on Crossrail. It is intended that these will be five-car electric multiple units, which will operate in pairs coupled together, forming ten-car trains. These are planned to have speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph) on the surface parts of the route and up to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) in the tunnels.[18] It is envisaged, as part of the government's rolling stock plan, that the stock for Crossrail will be similar to the new rolling stock planned for the Thameslink Programme and will displace other types of multiple unit currently used on the Great Eastern and Great Western routes for use elsewhere on the network.[19]

Ticketing

Crossrail ticketing is intended to be integrated with the other London transport systems, with Oyster Card Pay As You Go being valid on the entire line. Travelcards will be valid within Greater London with the exception of the Heathrow branch, which will continue to be subject to special fares. Crossrail has often been compared to Paris's 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 expected that Crossrail will appear on the standard London Underground Map.

Future options

Maidenhead to Reading extension

The Great Western Electrification project, announced in July 2009, will complement the Crossrail project and provide electrification to the Great Western Main Line westwards from Maidenhead to Reading and beyond. The UK Government and Transport for London are now considering extending Crossrail services from Maidenhead to Reading from the outset.[20]

Extending Crossrail to Reading is looking more attractive since the Government has announced that the Great Western Main Line will be electrified to Swansea in Wales.[21]

Gravesend extension

The route to Gravesend has been safeguarded by the DfT, although it has been made clear that there is currently no plan to extend Crossrail beyond the current scheme.[22]

Chelsea-Hackney line (Crossrail line 2)

Cross London Rail Links Ltd has inherited London Underground's aborted "Chelsea-Hackney Line" plans, sometimes also referred to as the "Merton-Hackney". A route for this has been safeguarded since 1991, and a 2007 consultation to renew the safeguarding gives the following route:[23]

Currently this line is known as the Chelsea - Hackney line and will not be built until after Crossrail.[citation needed] The current scheme is somewhat vague as to whether it will be built to National Rail or London Underground standards and take existing commuter services. The route protection also includes a branch south from Victoria station underneath Battersea Park in the direction of Clapham Junction although not reaching that station.[24] Clapham Junction is shown as an interchange with Crossrail 2 on TfL's East London Line route map.[25]

Management

Crossrail Ltd

Crossrail will be built by Crossrail Limited which was 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[26] for the construction of the line.

Controversy

Some East London politicians objected to the scheme, which they saw as an expensive west to east commuter service that will primarily benefit City and Docklands businesses and bring enormous disruption to East London.[27] 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.[citation needed]

Some freight train operating companies, including English, Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd (EWS), opposed the current plans because they claimed that they would use up much of the remaining rail capacity within the London area and do 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 will increase freight transit times. EWS reserved its right to pursue legal action, citing violations of both UK and EU law.[citation needed]

There had been complaints from London music fans, as the redevelopment of the area forced the closure of a number of historic music venues. The London Astoria,[28] 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.[citation needed]

There was considerable annoyance in Reading that Crossrail would terminate at Maidenhead, not Reading.[29] However both the promoters and the government had always insisted 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 protected.[30] This has become more likely now that the government has announced that the Great Western Main Line will be electrified all the way to Swansea. Parties are in discussion to establish whether it now makes more sense to take Crossrail all the way to Reading as the line will be electrified to Reading and beyond.[citation needed]

In February 2010, Crossrail was accused of bullying residents whose property lay on the Crossrail route into selling for far less than the market value.[31] A subsequent London Assembly report was highly critical of the insensitive way that Crossrail had dealt with compulsory purchases and the lack of assistance given to the people and businesses affected.[32]

Earlier proposals

1974 proposal

A report by a committee chaired by David Barran in 1974 recommended, alongside the development of the Fleet Line to Fenchurch Street and the River Line project, two new deep-level railway lines, one linking Paddington and Liverpool Street, via Marble Arch and Ludgate Circus; and another linking London Bridge and Victoria. The cost of these two links, along with the re-opening of the Snow Hill tunnel to form Thameslink, was estimated at £300 million.[33]

1990s proposal

An east–west route was again proposed in the early 1990s[34]. A Bill was introduced into Parliament, promoted by London Underground and British Rail, and supported by the government, but was rejected by the Private Bill Committee in 1994.[35] This service even went as far as preparatory work on rolling stock, with concept drawings for what was planned to be Class 341 trains released. A number of alternative routes on the west side were considered, including regional services to Amersham and Watford in the north-west, Reading in the west. All have now been dropped in favour of the core proposal.

Dropped routes

Various routes have been included in earlier drafts of the Crossrail scheme, but no longer feature. These include:

  • Paddington to Kingston upon Thames via Richmond was part of the "preferred route" published in 2003, but was dropped in 2004 due to a combination of local opposition, uncertainty over the route, cost and an insufficient return on the envisaged investment. This would conceivably have run either overland or via a tunnel to the existing track through Gunnersbury and Kew (which would no longer be used by the District Line), and thence to Richmond and Kingston on existing mainline track.
  • A south-eastern route beyond Abbey Wood to Dartford and Northfleet, connecting with High Speed 1. This was rejected due to the need to share track with existing services, leading to potential performance pollution. However much of this route has been revived in the safeguarding directive for Abbey Wood-Gravesend.
  • A north-western route to Aylesbury, taking over Chiltern services. This originally used the Dudding Hill Line, and later involved a new tunnel. Other branches in this direction to High Wycombe and Watford Junction were also proposed. None of these made it past the 2003 route consultation.

Alternative proposed routes

Aylesbury Branch

This branch would have taken over Metropolitan and Network SouthEast lines from Baker Street and Marylebone to Aylesbury (including Chesham branch). Crossrail would run via the Dudden Hill line or a tunnel to Neasden Junction, where it would run to Harrow using the fast mainlines. The fast lines north of Harrow would be exclusively used by Crossrail trains. A new station would have been built at Northwood to allow an interchange between Met and Crossrail lines. The Metropolitan line would have terminated at Rickmansworth instead of Amersham. A few NSE services to Aylesbury left would have been routed via High Wycombe and Princes Risborough.

Richmond Branch

This branch would have taken over the District line from Turnham Green to Richmond, and then to Kingston in tunnel. However, opposition from residents and politicians in Richmond, the expected cost and an insufficient return on the envisaged investment caused this proposed route not to be pursued in the hybrid Bill

Hounslow Branch

Following the decision to halt progress on development on a Richmond branch, Hounslow council have attempted to get a route from Paddington through to Hounslow using an existing railway route (so no tunnelling is required).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "History of Crossrail". Crossrail. 
  2. ^ "Crossrail Bill Select Committee". parliament.co.uk. http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/crossrail.cfm. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Crossrail Bill 2005". Crossrail. http://www.crossrail.co.uk/the-railway/getting-approval/parliamentary-bill. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  4. ^ "Orders of the Day — Crossrail Bill". TheyWorkForYou.com. 2005-07-19. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2005-07-19.1136.2. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7707338.stm
  6. ^ "Work on London's £16bn Crossrail scheme begins". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/15/london-crossrail-work-begins. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  7. ^ "Crossrail project gets £1bn loan". bbc.co.uk. 7 September 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8242992.stm. 
  8. ^ ""London Crossrail gets the go-ahead". Railway Gazette International. 2007-10-05. http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view//london-crossrail-gets-the-go-ahead.html. 
  9. ^ Work officially starts on Crossrail - PHOTOS, ContractJournal.com, accessed 2009-05-17
  10. ^ "House of Lords - Crossrail Bill Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12705 - 12719)". parliament.co.uk. 2008. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldcross/112/8050802.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  11. ^ "No anthrax in Crossrail remains". news.bbc.co.uk. 2009-06-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8116765.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  12. ^ "Crossrail tunnelling contracts advertised". Crossrail. 2009-08-25. http://www.crossrail.co.uk/company/communications-centre/press-releases/crossrail-tunnelling-contracts-advertised. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  13. ^ "Crossrail station profile: Tottenham Court Road". New Civil engineer. http://www.nce.co.uk/major-projects/crossrail/crossrail-station-profile-tottenham-court-road/5208703.article. Retrieved 2009=12-30. 
  14. ^ "Crossrail to awards second round of enabling contracts". New Civil Engineer. 2010-03-16. http://www.nce.co.uk/major-projects/crossrail/crossrail-to-awards-second-round-of-enabling-contracts/5215441.article. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  15. ^ http://www.crossrail.co.uk/pages/runningtunnel.html
  16. ^ http://www.crossrail.co.uk/80256B090053AF4C/Files/centralareaverticalalignment/$FILE/vertical+alignment.jpg
  17. ^ Additional stop for Crossrail
  18. ^ Crossrail information: Rolling Stock
  19. ^ DfT Rolling Stock Plan
  20. ^ Department for Transport - Britain’s Transport Infrastructure - Rail Electrification - July 2009
  21. ^ Crossrail to Reading would keep it on track
  22. ^ Harris, Tom (2008-02-06). "Crossrail Safeguarding Update 2008". Department for Transport. http://www.dft.gov.uk/press/speechesstatements/statements/crossrailupdate. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  23. ^ Crossrail Chelsea-Hackney Line site
  24. ^ Crossrail Chelsea-Hackney Line Safeguarding Directions Consultation Drawings
  25. ^ "East London Railway extensions". http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ell_route_map.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  26. ^ ""The future of Crossrail". UK House of Commons. 2007-11-05. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmcross/235/23514.htm. 
  27. ^ "Orders of the Day — Crossrail Bill". TheyWorkForYou.com. 2005-07-19. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2005-07-19a.1154.0. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  28. ^ "'Astoria makes way for Crossrail". London: The Times. 2008-03-14. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3549396.ece. Retrieved 2009–01–08. 
  29. ^ http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/13003_big_guns_back_crossrail
  30. ^ "Rail Minister Tom Harris announces addition land to be safeguarded". news.bbc.co.uk. 2008-02-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7230375.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  31. ^ "Boris Johnson takes on the 'bullies' evicting residents to make way for Crossrail". www.thisislondon.co.uk. 2010-02-10. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23804140-boris-johnson-takes-on-the-bullies-evicting-residents-to-make-way-for-crossrail.do. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  32. ^ "Light at the end of the tunnel". 2010-02-23. http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/publications/transport/crossrail-review. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  33. ^ "Investment of £1,390 in London rail urged". The Times. 1974-11-29. 
  34. ^ Murray Hughes (2007-02-01). "Cross-London projects languish on the back burner". Railway Gazette International. http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view//cross-london-projects-languish-on-the-back-burner.html. 
  35. ^ "Crossrail". Hansard. 1994-06-20. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1994/jun/20/crossrail#S6CV0245P0_19940620_HOC_17. 

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