Transport Secretary sees Crossrail progress in southeast London.(Crossrail Press Release)

Transport Secretary sees Crossrail progress in southeast London

  • Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, views Crossrail construction progress at Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Abbey Wood stations
  • Crossrail will transform rail transport in London, cutting journey times from southeast London, and supporting the economic growth of the area
  • Click here to watch a film of the visit; click here to download images


Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited Crossrail’s Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Abbey Wood stations to view progress on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project and to see first-hand the regeneration taking hold across southeast London.

The Transport Secretary visited Canary Wharf station to see Crossrail’s most progressed station in the heart of London’s fastest growing business district. Mr McLoughlin viewed the recently completed ticket hall and platforms, and the preparations taking place for the installation of the systems needed to operate the station from 2018. The arrival of Crossrail at Canary Wharf and Custom House will support further growth and development in Docklands and the Royal Docks.

Mr McLoughlin then travelled to Woolwich to view the significant regeneration taking place in the area, including the first of a thousand new homes which are now under construction above the Crossrail station. In the station itself, the 250m long platforms, lift shafts, and floor slabs are nearing structural completion. From early next year, the fit-out of the station will begin, including escalators, wall cladding and electrical systems, to turn the structure into a fully operating station.

The final stop on the trip was Abbey Wood where Network Rail has recently started to build the new station. The foundations of the station are currently being installed and the building will soon become visible above ground for the first time. The station, which will be built over two new dedicated Crossrail tracks and those used by North Kent services, will open at the end of 2017.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The progress that Crossrail is making is truly impressive, and it is great to see how the project will not only provide better journeys for passengers across London but will also support massive regeneration in the surrounding areas. Rapid transport links to the City and the West End will unlock investment and jobs, supporting further economic growth and local development.

“Crossrail is proof that our plan to build a rail network fit for the 21st Century is firmly on track.”

Crossrail will significantly reduce journey times and improve connectivity between southeast London and the capital’s key employment areas. From Abbey Wood and Woolwich, journey times to Canary Wharf will reduce to less than 11 minutes and shave up to 40 minutes off the journey to Heathrow.

Mr McLoughlin also travelled on the Jubilee line and the Emirates Air Line to see how London’s newest railway will integrate with the existing network, linking some of London’s fastest growing residential areas to key business and leisure districts.

Crossrail is nearly 70% complete and is being delivered on time and within budget. More than 10,000 people are currently working directly on Crossrail at around 40 construction sites. 485 apprenticeships have now been created on Crossrail and nearly 12,000 people have been trained at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in east London, the UK’s only tunnelling academy. Crossrail’s job brokerage service has also employed over 4,000 local people onto the project, 1 in 4 of whom were previously not in employment or training.

Crossrail will add 10% capacity to central London’s rail network. It will serve 40 stations, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. TfL-run Crossrail services through central London will commence in December 2018. An estimated 200 million passengers will travel on Crossrail each year.