Do you think the title of this post is too good to be true?
A year from now, starting in 2017 (no precise date confirmed yet), London will add a new transport service called Crossrail, initially only running from Liverpool Street to Shenfield. This new service will run full steam from the end of 2019. At that point, it will connect West London (from Reading or Heathrow) with East London (to either Shenfield or Abbey Wood). This Route Map shows which stations will be part of Crossrail.
Here we share with you 18 facts about this exciting project that will blow your mind and that will seal London’s future as a World City for a long time to come!
General Crossrail info
- Crossrail is the largest construction project in Europe.
- The new service will have a positive impact on rail transport in London and the south east. Central London rail capacity will be increased by 10% while journey times will be cut.
- In total, there will be 40 Crossrail stations (10 of them will be new: Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood).
- Crossrail will be used by about 200 million passengers annually (= 3 times the whole UK population!).
- Crossrail will support regeneration across the capital and will add an estimated £42bn to the economy of the UK (creating thousands of jobs in the process).
- The budget available for Crossrail is £14.8bn.
- People with reduced mobility will find it easier to travel since the stations will be fully accessible (with all stations being step-free from street level to platform). This Route Map will show you the type of step-free access per station.
- Crossrail will reduce the journey from Liverpool Street (=Central London) to Heathrow. The journey will fall from 55 to 34 minutes.
- Thanks to Crossrail an extra 1.5 million people will be within a 45 minutes commute of the existing major employment centres (such as: the West End, the City and Canary Wharf).
- Crossrail will boost property value for the properties located around the Crossrail line (in central London by 25 per cent, and by 20 per cent in the suburbs). For example, Whitechapel could see house price growth of more than 50%! Have a look at some great information provided by JLL (a property company). You can access an interactive web tool (slightly clumsy to use but very useful) or download their informative PDF or view the document online.
- Crossrail’s customer information and ticketing systems will integrate with TFL’s systems. In many cases, journeys will also be cheaper using the Oyster card or contactless pay as you go.
- In May 2017, a fleet of 66 new modern and spacious (200 meter long) trains will be introduced. These trains will be equipped with WiFi, 4G and air conditioning. Travelling in these trains will be very comfortable indeed. These energy efficient trains will also deliver real-time travel information and will be able to carry up to 1500 people.
- Ninety eight per cent (98%) of excavated material will be recycled with the vast majority being used to extend the RSPB nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex.
- To construct the 42km of new rail tunnels, eight giant tunnel boring machines were used below the streets of London for more than three years. Twenty people worked in shifts around the clock between 4 May 2012 and 26 May 2015 to deliver this phenomenal achievement!
- Each tunnelling machine weighs 1,000 tonnes and is 150 metres long.
Art and Crossrail
- Art will be displayed on the Crossrail stations walls. The stations will in a way become art galleries and will showcase major interventions by the world’s most renowned artists. Future City (in charge of this project) explains its vision called: Culture Line. So in the future don’t just rush to your next destination but take your time and admire the beautiful art around you 🙂
Crossrail at the London Transport Museum
- London Transport Museum is running a permanent expo about Crossrail. You will need to scroll down to the section that says: “Breakthrough: Crossrail’s tunnelling story” (don’t pay attention to the dates indicated, they don’t make sense anyway). It’s a short but very interesting expo that informs about the work that has been and is still being carried out. It will also help you get a better understanding of the efforts put in this amazing project.
Crossrail 2 – the sequel!
- Did you know that plans are being discussed to create a Crossrail 2 that will link with the Underground, Overground, Crossrail 1 (i.e: the Crossrail we’ve be been talking about so far), national and international rail services? Yeah, just like any successful Hollywood blockbuster there will be a ‘sequel’ since the first idea was so good.
You can learn about the plans here: Crossrail 2.
It’s Frank Pick who said: “The test of the goodness of a thing is its fitness for use. If it fails on this first test, no amount of ornamentation or finish will make it any better.”
So we can’t wait to experience how good Crossrail will be!