Crossrail (Interim)

Crossrail interim

CEEQUAL Multi-part Assessment – Interim Client & Outline Design Awards
Version 4 | London, England, UK

Client: Crossrail Ltd


Assessor: Amanda Bailey

Project summary

Crossrail is a railway project in London and the South East connecting Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London. It will link main hubs including Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London and Canary Wharf. It will operate with mainline-size trains, carrying more than 1,500 passengers in each train during peak periods.

Crossrail will make travelling in the region easier, quicker and more accessible, as well as reducing crowding on London’s transport network. In addition, Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits (estimated benefit to the UK economy: £42 billion).

Preliminary works on the £15-billion project commenced during 2009 and main construction works throughout the central section started in 2010.

Due to the scale of the scheme, Interim CEEQUAL assessments were carried out for eight separate work packages. These will then be rolled up to one Whole Project Award at the end of the scheme. Work packages included portals, shafts, the running tunnels and sprayed concrete lining. All eight packages achieved an ‘Excellent’ rating in the Interim Awards.

High scores were achieved consistently across all sections for all eight work packages. Some of the interesting initiatives specific to the project are:


The construction of tunnels will produce large quantities of excavated material. It is intended that a significant proportion of this material will be transported by ship to Wallasea Island in Essex where it will be re-used to create a wildlife habitat and wetlands reserve. This is part of an RSPB scheme to transform 620 hectares of arable farmland back into original coastal marshland.

Landscape issues

Detailed consideration of materials and vegetation are examples of two measures which meet a number of CEEQUAL criteria including minimising maintenance, improving visual screening and mitigating visual intrusion of the scheme.

The scheme design includes green roofs and planting at the Eleanor Street Headhouse – both of which will encourage biodiversity.

Effects on neighbours

The Crossrail Construction Code aims to manage and minimise a host of effects of construction of the project on neighbours.

Noise is one potential impact on neighbours. Noise & Vibration Management Plans seek to control and limit noise and vibration levels to ensure that adjacent properties and other sensitive receptors are protected from excessive levels.

The following measures are included within the plans: temporary relocation and noise insulation, monitoring, selection and use of low-impact equipment.

As an example of the latter measure, percussive piling was originally going to be used for the construction of coffer dams at Paddington, but this was replaced by a less noise-intensive construction method to reduce the impact on neighbours.

Relations with the local community and other stakeholders

Crossrail carried out extensive stakeholder and public consultation in advance of the Parliamentary process. In 2003 and 2004, over 50 days of exhibitions were held to explain the proposals at over 30 different locations. Over 200,000 invitations were distributed to the properties of residents and businesses along the proposed route. A planning forum was established to providing a theatre for the main point of discussion of key issues with local authorities.

The Crossrail Community Relations Strategy ensures that communication with the public is facilitated. This has been achieved through leaflets, letters, Community Liaison Panels, Area Community Relations Officers, monthly and annual community relations reports and the Crossrail Bulletin.

There is a helpdesk for the public with a contact number published on all site hoardings, and a Crossrail Visitor Centre for members of the public to visit. A community drop-in centre is operated prior to any sensitive works.

Construction skills development

Crossrail also aims to develop local skills. A Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy will be created to address the shortage of people with the necessary skills to work on the project.

The Academy will be a purpose-built facility providing training on the key skills required to work in and around a tunnel excavation and built environment. Over 3,500 people will be trained at the Academy during the construction of Crossrail. It will ensure that all personnel working underground on the project achieve the Crossrail Safety Card before working on any Crossrail site.