The Crossrail Works At Paddington

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During the recent blockade on the Hammersmith and City and Circle, work took place at Paddington on both Crossrail and the station upgrade works.

The works largely focused on the demolition of the old disused taxi ramp at the station, and the removal of a canopy that sits above the Hammersmith & City platforms (hence the need for the blockade). More notably, the old disused Bishops Road ticket hall was finally demolished, as was the redundant cable bridge running over the line. The old lift shaft and the disused National Rail staircase on platform 13/14 were also taken down. Overall, the cranes visible in the video above made over 60 lifts simply to remove the concrete and other rubble produced by the demolition process.

London Underground also undertook various line renewal and upgrade works, taking advantage of the freedom the blockade provided for work that would otherwise have required weekend closures. Much of this focused on the ongoing platform-lengthening works on stretches of the Hammersmith and City, which are required to allow the new S-Stock to use the line. London Underground have indicated that they also undertook conductor and track replacement during the closure as well as some drainage works.

Crossrail themselves undertook piling work during the blockade as well, this is for the new Hammersmith & City line station. Well over half of this piling appears to have been completed, with Crossrail indicating that 68 piles are now in place.

Elsewhere, Crossrail have confirmed that they will now not announce the winners of the bids for the Western and Eastern Running tunnels until early next year. These two contracts account for almost 18km of the tunnels for the project (out of a total of 21km) and thus are ones that have been the focus of some attention. Originally, Crossrail had suggested an announcement might be made this summer, but this was a non-binding target.

One Industry Journal has questioned this delay of announcement, given the economic uncertainty much of the industry is facing at this time. Crossrail themselves, however, have stressed that this is in no way indicative of plans to delay the tunnelling:

Bids for two of the tunnelling contracts have been submitted and are being evaluated. It is the current intention to award these two contracts in 2011. The mid 2010 date as advised in the original tender documents was always an indicative date. Tunnelling construction activity will get underway in 2011 as planned.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.