We’re currently on a construction train going
through the Crossrail tunnels. We’re just about to head out through North Woolwich portal
behind us. You can see where we are in terms of the construction phase – the tracks are
complete, we’ve got our cable management system trays all around us that will take all the
cables and above us we’ve got some of the overhead line systems in place that will be
powering the train when the Crossrail trains are running as the Elizabeth line.
So we’ve just come out of North Woolwich portal through the Thames Tunnel. We’re heading up
now into the open section near Silvertown footbridge. So this is all the open section
around us. You can see the cable management systems, the trays, are to the side of us
and not overhead and also the overhead line will also be up on the side, whereas in the
tunnels it’s above you powering the train. So everything is moved to the side as we go
through an open section. So obviously the whole of the Crossrail project
we’re really challenged by logistics. We’ve got a lot of materials we need to bring in.
Everything we do has to take a lot of planning, a lot of sequencing. We have to make sure
everything leaves on time and it’s very well prepared.
This is the Connaught Tunnel. It’s an existing tunnel which we’ve just done a little bit
of work to reinforce and make sure it can handle our infrastructure that we’re putting
into the system. It looks pretty impressive, it’s always really nice when you go through
it, but we still have all our standard equipment that we have throughout the trace. You can
see a lot of cable management trays, the start of our overhead catenary going up on the side
here and all our track that we’ve laid down on the ground.
So you can see we’re just coming up to Custom House, which is one of the new stations that
being built above ground. It’s a fantastic station as you can see and it’s really regenerated
the whole area, or changed the whole area. We’ve done a lot of upgrades inside and out.
There’s a lot of residents and local businesses nearby so a lot of betterment to the area
as a result of Custom House station. As we exit through Custom House the trace,
we’re just going through and about to exit, the trace – the track – is going to drop down
as we go through Victoria Dock Portal and then we go back into the tunnel and we’ll
be heading towards Stepney Green. So once we’ve finished the fit out of the
tunnels, so we’ve completed all the mechanical and electrical work for the overhead lines
all in and installed. Over about the space of a year we’ll be doing a lot of testing
of all the systems and really we just test everything to it’s full capacity, make sure
everything is working as intended, as it should, and then first of the brand new trains will
be running through the system in December 2018. They’ll be running through the Elizabeth
line service utilising the finalised infrastructure. We’re now heading up to Stepney Green cavern.
So Stepney Green cavern is where the three different routes all join together. So one
route will take you towards Paddington, the other route will take you towards Pudding
Mill Lane and the route we’re coming up through right now that we’re on is the route from
Abbey Wood. So they all join at Stepney Green cavern and then they go off into their different
directions. So we’re now going through Whitechapel station.
As you can see behind me there’s hoarding and eventually there will be platform screen
doors and behind this is the platform. At Whitechapel there’s a crossover and we’re
just about to switch from one track to the other. So right now we’ve come through on
the westbound track. We’re gonna go through the crossing and switch over onto the eastbound
track to continue our journey. We’re just passing now through Liverpool Street
station. You can see in front of me is the hoarding for the platform. But just past Liverpool
Street station, just up here is a different type of track. It’s called floating track
slab. So the track is constructed with additional bearings and a few additional springs really
just to reduce noise and volumes so that when the trains pass through they really mitigate
and minimise any impact to the surrounding areas.
So behind me you can see we’ve just come into Farringdon station. This marks the end of
our journey today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip through the central operating system
of the Crossrail project and hopefully when you next see this tunnel it will be on a passenger
train in December 2018.