Crossrail programme is now over 60 per cent complete

Major tunnelling to complete in spring 2015 with focus shifting to huge task of fitting out new tunnels and stations

TfL to operate services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield fromMay 2015

During 2015, Crossrail’s major tunnelling works will conclude and the focus will shift towards fit-out and implementing railway systems within the tunnels and stations.

Eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored over 39 kilometres of new 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under London with tunnelling due to complete in spring 2015. Construction is also advancing on the ten new Crossrail stations and on works above ground west of Paddington and east of Stratford. Over 10,000 people are currently working on Crossrail, including nearly 400 apprentices, with the project at peak rate of construction.

On 31 May this year the rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will join the TfL transport network. This will be the first phase of the introduction of Crossrail, which will be fully integrated with TfL services. Customers will benefit from stations staffed at all times trains are operating as well as better accessibility provision with turn up and go services being offered for those who need ramps to board trains.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said:
“Crossrail is being delivered on time and within budget. While we are over 60 per cent complete there is still a huge amount of work to be undertaken as the challenge shifts to the complicated and substantial task of fitting out the stations and tunnels with the necessary systems and equipment to enable Crossrail services to operate.”

Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Rail, said:
“While construction is forging ahead the first steps towards opening London’s new rail line will happen as rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield become part of the TfL network this Spring. This is another step in our transformation of rail services across the capital as we work to support London’s economic growth and meet the demands of the city’s rapidly growing population.”

Upcoming Crossrail milestones include:

  • Major tunnelling for Crossrail to complete in spring 2015when tunnelling machines Elizabeth and Victoria reach Farringdon.
  • Network Rail to continue major surface workson the existing rail network including construction of a landmark new station at Abbey Wood. Major station improvements in outer London will get underway; a number of stations will be completely rebuilt, providing passengers with brighter, more spacious ticket halls.
  • The fit out of Crossrail’s tunnels will begin in early 2015. New track will be laid as well as overhead conductor bar to power the trains, lighting, signalling, ventilation and everything else that is required to run Crossrail’s new trains beneath the streets of London.
  • As part of the UK’s largest archaeology project, Crossrail will excavate the former Bedlam burial ground in Liverpool Street from March 2015 to enable construction of the Broadgate ticket hall. The dig will exhume thousands of bodies and artefacts dating from Roman times through to the 18th Century.
  • The Wallasea Island nature reserve in Essex, constructed using Crossrail excavated material, will be flooded with sea water in summer 2015, creating a new wetlands habitat for bird and marine life.
  • Joint venture partners will be sought during 2015 for major above station property developments at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road West, Fisher Street, Farringdon East and Woolwich.
  • Announcement of commissions for the Crossrail Art Programme, which will see large-scale permanent art-work put in place at seven central London sites.
  • Construction of the major new Crossrail depot at Old Oak Common is underway and will continue throughout 2015.
  • From 31 May 2015, Transport for London will begin operating the existing rolling stock between Shenfield and Liverpool Street. There will be staff at every station at all times that trains are running, better accessibility provision, full integration with TfL customer information and with TfL fares and ticketing, including cheaper journeys in many cases using Oyster or contactless pay as you go. TfL will also put in place a phased programme of deep cleaning and painting the stations and introducing help points, CCTV, gate lines and better lighting and customer information.
  • Ahead of the new Crossrail trains arriving on the Shenfield to Liverpool Street services in 2017, TfL will clean up the existing trains and refresh them inside and out within six months of transfer.


London’s population is set to grow from 8.4 million today to around 10 million by 2030. The Government, the Mayor of London and TfL are investing in Crossrail and other transport infrastructure to support access to jobs, education, housing and to boost economic growth. Crossrail is part of TfL’s investment programme.

Over the course of the project, it is estimated that Crossrail and its supply chain will support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the country. More than 8,000 people have completed training at Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which opened in 2011.

A total of 84,300 jobs were supported last year across the UK, through TfL’s investment programme and Crossrail. TfL and its suppliers have also created over 5,000 apprenticeship roles since April 2009.

Crossrail will add 10 per cent capacity to London’s rail network. It will serve 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via central London.