Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited Crossrail’s Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Abbey Wood station sites to view progress on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, which is now 70% complete. At each site - all at different stages of completion - he saw first-hand how Crossrail is bringing major economic benefits to south east London.
At Canary Wharf, where construction is closest to completion, Mr McLoughlin viewed the recently completed ticket hall and platforms and met with Crossrail’s technical experts who are preparing the systems to make the station operational from 2018. When full Crossrail services begin, passengers will be able to travel from the heart of London’s fastest growing business district to Heathrow in under 40 minutes. The new line will transform rail transport in London, along with nationwide improvements as part of the government’s £38 billion investment in the railways in the 5 years to 2019.
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.
At Woolwich, the Transport Secretary saw the significant regeneration taking place in the area, including the first of 1,000 new homes which are now under construction above the Crossrail station. In the station itself, the 250 metre platforms, lift shafts, and floor slabs are nearing structural completion, and from early next year the fit-out of the station will begin.
The final stop was Abbey Wood, where Network Rail has recently started building 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 will open at the end of 2017.
Crossrail will significantly reduce journey times and improve connectivity between south east 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. Across central London’s rail network, Crossrail will add 10% capacity, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, when full services commence in December 2019.