Lesson learned during London Olympics preparation paid off, says supplier
Crossrail has looked back on a successful year having completed 42km of new tunnels under London, and looks to be on schedule going into 2016.
CEO Andrew Wolstenholme has also praised the number of apprentices engaged on the project, with over 500 smashing their initial target of 400.
“Construction has continued to progress steadily over recent months. The Crossrail tracks have begun to take shape and a new fleet of bespoke machines helping to fit-out the tunnels, stations, shafts and portals have arrived,” he said.
“This stream of work continues to present opportunities for the UK economy. Across the project, 95 per cent of major contracts on Crossrail are let to businesses within the UK.” As well as the tunnelling work itself, the project has uncovered more than 10,000 artefacts and skeletons on archaeological digs, and 3 million tonnes of spoil from the sites have helped to provide a new wildlife sanctuary at Wallasea Island.
“In the autumn, construction of Canary Wharf station was completed – the first station to achieve this milestone. This follows the opening of Crossrail Place, the multi-level mixed retail and leisure development above the station, which was opened to the public earlier in the year. “The Network Rail works being delivered for Crossrail reached the halfway point. These works are helping to prepare the existing rail infrastructure for the new service and includes station upgrades and other improvements along the route.
“We had a glimpse of the 200 metre-long iconic Crossrail trains that will carry up to 1,500 passengers between Heathrow and Reading in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
“Looking ahead, 2016 will be a year of challenges and more key milestones. Station construction will move forward and the fitout will continue along the route, paving the way for the railway to be brought to life.”
Meanwhile, the head of one of Crossrail’s largest equipment providers has stated that the project is on target for both time and budget due to lessons learned from the Olympics.
Ashtead chief executive Geoff Drabble said: “The construction industry has moved up a level after learning from the Olympics.
“Given the amount of dirt we’ve moved around recently, London has not ground to a halt.”