The London Crossrail Project

New Train Lines To Connect All of London


The Crossrail Project commenced in 2012, and since then, it has run its own version of the London Marathon, with 26 miles of new tunnels being created under the city.


Transport infrastructure investment is vital to the British economy, and it is the ambitious ideas of engineers which keep this investment flowing. Not for at least 100 years has such a huge project been embarked on, and the Crossrail project has already created many new jobs, and looks to become a real asset to the economy of London and the UK as a whole in the long term.

How was it done?


The Crossrail Project has been assisted heavily by a collection of some of the most state-of-the-art machines ever used for such an undertaking.


There is a fleet of bespoke machines that are being used on the project, starting with the machines that created the miles of tunnels. Eight huge tunnelling machines and many Crossrail workers worked tirelessly for 24 hours a day to complete the tunnels, but that was only the beginning of the job.


What’s next?


The tunnelling machines were impressive, but they are not the only giants being used as part of the Crossrail Project. The mammoth, 450 metre (that’s longer than four football pitches!) concreting train used came from France via the Channel Tunnel in the summer of 2015. The machine is able to install up to 250 metres a day at peak production.


To maintain this optimum production, the machine installs concrete through the night, and then restocking and maintenance is carried out during the day.


Four bespoke multi-purpose gantries are also being used to carry over 70,000 sleepers and nearly 60 km of rail inside the tunnels as part of the initial works for the building of the new tracks.


Another impressive machine is the drilling rig, which will create more than 250,000 holes through the tunnelling. The machine is split into two, with the first machine focusing on drilling holes for brackets for cabling and walkways. The second machine will focus on overhead holes for the electricity line that will power the new trains.


When will it be finished?


The Crossrail Project is due for completion in 2017, and it looks likely to hit its target. The project sees ten brand new, state-of-the-art stations being constructed across London and the South East.


The Crossrail railway will be a high frequency, high capacity service that will link 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood via tunnels under central London and the Docklands area.


It is estimated that over 200 million passengers will travel on Crossrail every year, helping people get to work quicker, and easing congestion on all London public transport services, especially during rush hour.

With house prices already going up in the areas that Crossrail will cater for on completion, and many new jobs already having been created and many more to come after the project is finished, Crossrail looks set to not only aid travel through London, but also to offer great assistance to the UK economy. In fact, Crossrail 2 is already boosting house prices in some areas.

Chris Allen is the Operations Director at Templant Group, which provided the generators that powered the concrete rigs for the Crossrail project.