Crossrail is one of the most significant major construction projects to take place in the UK in recent years. Changing the face of the city’s transport network, Crossrail is a new suburban rail service for London and the south east. It will provide a direct connection between London’s major business centres and the commuter areas to the east and west of the city.
With the capital’s population set to rise to over 10 million in the coming years, commuters will hope the construction Crossrail can help relieve the pressure on one of the busiest transport networks in the world. Scheduled to be operational in 2019, I have had a look at the main benefits of the new heavy duty rail service.
The new service will ease the overcrowding on existing tube lines and tail routes, providing a 10% increase to the total capacity of London’s public transport network. Increasing the number of cars per train from 8 to 10 will give commuters more space and make rush hour travel a less traumatic experience. Each Crossrail train will be around 200 metres long and should be able to accommodate up to 1,500 passengers, with an estimated 200 million people using the service every year.
Quicker journey times
Crossrail will deliver several new train services and reduce journey times between many stations. For example the journey time between Ilford in the east to Heathrow in the west will be reduced from 70 minutes to 51 minutes, whilst up to 24 trains an hour will travel between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak times. There will also be an increase in the frequency of train journeys every day, with the number of trains during the morning peak increasing from 16 to 18 per hour.
Crossrail will provide easier and more direct travel across the capital with new underground and overground lines. Several interchanges with 6 existing underground lines will also improve access to various parts of the city .9 new stations are being constructed at locations including Paddington ,Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, and Canary Wharf. The new station development will also connect 28 existing Network Rails stations to 21 kilometres of new train tunnels running under central London.
As well as dramatically cutting journey times across the city, the system has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to London, the South East and the rest of the UK. Crossrail will support regeneration across the capital as the new station developments and transport links enhance the surrounding environments and support new developments. The project is the biggest of its kind in Europe and has already created thousands of jobs, whilst providing a significant boost to the UK construction industry. Some economic forecasts predict that the project will add up to £42billion to the country’s economy.
We will have to wait a few more years to find out how successful Crossrail will be, but already plans are being made for a second Crossrail network that will run from Wimbledon in the South to the north of London and Hertfordshire. With population growth continuing steadily, London looks set to benefit from of a much needed increase in its public transport capacity.