Rail Minister views progress on the £500m Canary Wharf station, which is being delivered by Canary Wharf Group ahead of time and on budget 300,000 tonnes of material excavated with concrete now being poured on station’s train track level, 28 metres below ground Completed station box will be ready for Crossrail’s tunnel boring machines in summer 2012

Two years on from the start of Crossrail’s construction, Canary Wharf station, one of the largest along the Crossrail route, is the first to near structural completion below ground.

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers today visited the Canary Wharf site to see the huge progress that has been made and witness the last of the soil being removed from the platform level, where trains will run from 2018.

The station, which has been built ‘top down,’ now extends 28 metres below the waters of North Dock in Canary Wharf, with the ticket hall and platform levels excavated. The station box needs to be complete for the two tunnel boring machines to break-through from the east of Canary Wharf in summer 2012.

Construction of Crossrail began in May 2009 at the Canary Wharf site. Two years of construction has seen over 1,000 piles installed, nearly 100 million litres of water removed, 300,000 tonnes of material excavated and almost 375,000 tonnes of concrete poured.

Canary Wharf station is approximately the same size as One Canada Square, Britain’s largest office building, laid on its side beneath the dock bed.

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: “This anniversary represents a major milestone in the building of one of the most exciting transport projects in London today. Crossrail will create economically vital transport infrastructure set to transform the journeys of thousands of passengers.

“Since construction started on Crossrail two years ago, tremendous progress has been made – not only at Canary Wharf, where a station can now be seen to be taking shape – but right across the Crossrail route. Work is underway across all central London station sites – from Paddington to Whitechapel. Tunnelling preparations are expected to begin in late 2011 with full tunnelling commencing in Spring 2012.

“I look forward to seeing how far the project has advanced in another two years time.”

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The army of engineers working on this station have made phenomenal progress and a huge subterranean chamber has been created deep under Canary Wharf that will throng with Londoners when Crossrail is up and running. This project is crucial to the continued economic success of our city, which is why I fought so hard to guarantee its funding and with tunnelling set to begin early next year the construction of Crossrail is rapidly accelerating.”

George Iacobescu, Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Group plc said: “Canary Wharf Crossrail station is on budget and we are ahead of our construction milestones, which is very pleasing. Crossrail will benefit the whole of London and the UK and our team is very proud to play a part in delivering it. This is an exceptional example of what can be achieved when the public and private sectors come together for a common purpose.”

When it opens in 2018, Crossrail will deliver new train services and reduced journey times across London and the South East. With up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak times, Crossrail will carry over 200 million passengers each year.

Canary Wharf will be served by 12 trains per hour. Each Crossrail train will be 200 metres long with the capacity to carry 1,500 passengers. Journey times from Canary Wharf will be: Liverpool Street (6 minutes), Bond Street (13 minutes), Ealing Broadway (24 minutes), Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 (39 minutes) and Abbey Wood (11 minutes).

Elsewhere along the Crossrail route, work is now underway across all central London station sites and intensive construction activity will take place during 2011 and beyond. The first of the main construction contracts for the central London stations will be awarded in summer 2011.

Construction of the first six tunnel boring machines (TBM) will shortly get underway in Germany with the first TBM due to arrive in London in early 2012. The tunnel boring machines will build the new Crossrail tunnels beneath central London and Docklands with tunnelling commencing in spring 2012.

Construction of the tunnel portal at Royal Oak in west London is advancing. A further four tunnel portals will be constructed as part of Crossrail at Pudding Mill Lane, North Woolwich, Victoria Dock and Plumstead. Such is the scale of Crossrail that up to 14,000 people will be employed at the peak of construction between 2013 and 2015. The UK Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in east London will be fully open by September 2011 and will offer training to at least 3,500 people.


Images are available for download from the Crossrail Press Image Library or direct from the Crossrail Press Office.

For further information please contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email: pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk

Hamish McDougall, Canary Wharf Group plc, Tel. 020 7418 2326, Mobile: 07779 888 075, email: Hamish.mcdougall@canarywharf.com

Notes to Editors

On 24 December 2008, it was confirmed that Canary Wharf Group (CWG) will design and construct the station for a fixed price of £500 million. £350m of the station’s costs will be met from Crossrail’s £14.8bn budget with CWG providing £150m and bearing the risk in relation to costs above the fixed price limit.

To enable construction of the station box, 296 steel piles measuring 18.5 metres high and 1.2 metres wide were sunk into the dock floor using 10 storey high piling cranes and ‘silent’ Giken Piling machines. This was the first time this type of machinery has been used extensively in the UK.

Around 100 million litres of water were then pumped out of the piled structure to create a 256m x 30m cleared site ready for ‘top down construction.’

Approximately 300,000 tonnes of materials have been excavated, with around a third reused onsite and the rest taken by river barge to help transform a former landfill into a conservation site at Holehaven Creek.

The Station was designed in close consultation with the local community, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and CABE. Architectural and engineering firms involved in the design of the combined station/retail development include:

• Canary Wharf Contractors Limited: Lead contractor for the design and construction
• Arup Engineering : Structural and Building Services Consultant
• Tony Meadows Associates : Station design concept and operations architect
• Adamson Associates : Retail mall and project executive architect
• Foster + Partners : Project design architect for the oversite development roof
• Gillespies : Landscape Architect for the roof-top park

CWG has planning permission for 100,000 sq. ft of retail space and a roof-top garden above the Station box. This is partially covered by an elegant, translucent timber lattice roof, designed by Foster + Partners.

About Crossrail:

Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East. Latest economic forecasts suggest that Crossrail will add £42bn to the economy. Previous estimates were that Crossrail would deliver up to a £36bn boost to the UK economy.

Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the peak of construction in 2013/2015.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.