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Tour of the Crossrail site at Bond Street underground station

Christine Hurley reports

A group of WTS members enjoyed a really interesting afternoon touring the Crossrail site at Bond Street underground station

 

Currently, more than 155,000 passengers use the existing tube station at Bond Street every day and, when Crossrail arrives in 2018, the number is expected to grow to over 225,000. The new Crossrail station at Bond Street will increase passenger capacity and improve accessibility at one of London’s busiest stations. There will be two brand new ticket halls – at Hanover Square in the east and Davies Street in the west - leading passengers through to the new Crossrail platforms deep below ground. Step-free access will be provided to the station platforms below the south side of Oxford Street and a step free passenger link tunnel will connect the Crossrail platforms to the existing London Underground station. At peak times 24 trains per hour will run in each direction.

Before our walking tour began we met up at the Crossrail office in Davies Street where Archie Heaton-Renshaw, the Assistant Site Manager, gave us a brief outline of what has been achieved at Bond Street since the project began in 2010.

 

 

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The station comprises two 260m long combined platform/concourse tunnels extending between the two new ticket halls and exits. The ticket halls have been constructed from boxes excavated 35 metres below ground, subsequently covered in a lining.

Alongside the Crossrail construction works, the existing Bond Street underground station is also being upgraded to cope with the additional traffic that Crossrail will create. A passenger interchange link will connect the western ticket hall with the existing London Underground Bond Street Station and interchange with the Jubilee and Central Lines.

Before we could venture onto the site, health and safety requirements meant we all had to don orange high visibility suits and safety boots -  that really made us stand out from the crowd as we walked among the Bond Street shoppers en route from Davies Street, where the western ticket office and exits are being constructed, to the site of the eastern ticket office in Hanover Square. 

 

 

 

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Excavating in the middle of London, with all the disturbance and movement of large construction traffic involved, brings its problems, particularly in a wealthy residential area like that surrounding the Hanover Square site. Sympathy to local buildings has been paramount and often challenging as some of the mansions are listed. During the early construction period, when the teams were working 24/7, local residents were relocated to a local hotel for 20 days. 

 

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Once the existing buildings had been demolished piles were driven into the ground and temporary props installed to support the sides during excavation. The construction team worked from the top down. Concrete slabs were poured and plunge columns, that would eventually hold up the floor below, were driven into the ground. This was done at 5 levels, down to around 30 metres deep.

 

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Platforms are 250 metres long and significantly wider than even the more those on the Jubilee Line. This and the width of trains necessitates higher ceilings. The platform door screens are also significantly higher than those on the Jubliee line

 

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Tunnels have been dug by Tunnel Boring Machines. The rails were delivered in sections and transported into the new tunnels by Multi Purpose Gantries specifically designed for the Crossrail project.

 

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Interconnecting passage to platform tunnels

 

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Escalator incline to the western ticket hall.

 

Our tour of the site was fascinating and gave us a great insight into the enormity of this major infrastructure project and the complexities and challenges it presented.

 

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Here's what our members had to say:

"It definitely gives one a perspective on the volume of work involved, what the goals and objectives are."

"Really great event - fascinating to see the crossrail site under construction and it was a real privilege to be able to attend."

"Incredibly exciting to be on a live construction site"

"It was useful for me to go onto site as I am office based, so seeing where the real work happens brings it more to life."

"It was very interesting to see the site at this stage. I hadn't realised how far the site was developed."

 

Our thanks to our hosts at Crossrail for facilitating this tour and in particular to our excellent guides, Archie Heaton-Renshaw, Assistant Site Manager and Field Engineers, Ben Rout and Ryan Morgan. 

 

WTS London has a great line up of events - please join us on LinkedInTwitter or Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news and events.

 

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