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Crossrail , London, United Kingdom

Europe’s biggest civil engineering project currently being built under central London.

When it opens Crossrail will be known as the Elizabeth line and will provide high capacity rail services from Reading and Heathrow to the west of the capital, through to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10% and link Heathrow Airport, London’s West End, the City of London, and Canary Wharf. The project has also stimulated development above the new stations and along the route. 

In joint venture with Atkins, we designed the twin bored tunnels, Tottenham Court Road, Custom House and Woolwich stations, and Plumstead sidings for Crossrail Ltd. Separate from the joint venture, Arup delivered the design of Canary Wharf Station for Canary Wharf Contractors, and supported Laing O’Rourke on Liverpool Street and Costain on Bond Street stations.

Arup has had significant design input into six of the ten new stations and has provided the project with numerous specialist services such as acoustic and fire engineering, archaeology, and sustainability consultancy.

The Elizabeth line is unlike any existing underground railway in London, the trains are 200m long and will carry up to 1500 passengers each. It is estimated around 200 million people will travel on it each year so the stations have been designed to accommodate large numbers of passengers.  

Project Summary


200m-long trains

1,500passengers per day

200millionpeople per year

Up to 24 trains per hour in each direction will travel through the central underground section during peak times.

Tottenham Court Road

As lead consultant for Tottenham Court Road Station, we were responsible for the design of the ticket hall, platform tunnels and the fit out of the Goslett Yard box – the structure that links the station with the London Underground station to create an integrated complex. We also coordinated the numerous interfaces to achieve the architectural vision and deliver a design that will provide a pleasant passenger experience.

Bored Tunnels

As part of the bored tunnels contract, we were responsible for the route alignment, the detailed design of the tunnel structure and the various railway track-forms within the tunnel. We also rehabilitated the existing cut-and-cover Connaught tunnel for the section under the Victoria and Albert Dock.

The mitigation of ground movement due to tunnel and station excavation formed a major part of the work. We undertook impact assessments on over 17,000 buildings of which many are listed, existing railways, major utilities, and other assets adjacent to the route. We also designed mitigation measures for buildings likely to be affected by the ground movement, these included adjustments to tunneling construction methods and the use of compensation grouting and underpinning.

The impact of noise and vibration from the operational railway was an important consideration on many buildings above the route like theatres and recording studios so we designed special noise mitigating rail track-forms to minimise this impact.