31 August 2016 | 10 °C

Transport | By: M@

Whitechapel Crossrail Station: In Pictures

Whitechapel Crossrail Station: In Pictures
Looking down into the pit.
Looking down into the pit.
The view from Trinity Hall next door.
The view from Trinity Hall next door.
Removing spoil from the western end of the east-bound tunnel.
Removing spoil from the western end of the east-bound tunnel.
Down in the access pit, a spoil truck waits to unload while engineers stand in the side tunnel.
Down in the access pit, a spoil truck waits to unload while engineers stand in the side tunnel.
A skip of spoil is raised to the surface via a crane that can handle 50 tons. Up above, the spoil is placed onto trucks, which take it to barges, which take it to Wallasea Island in Essex, where it's helping to form a wildlife reserve.
A skip of spoil is raised to the surface via a crane that can handle 50 tons. Up above, the spoil is placed onto trucks, which take it to barges, which take it to Wallasea Island in Essex, where it's helping to form a wildlife reserve.
A skip full of spoil is tipped for processing.
A skip full of spoil is tipped for processing.
In the eastern running tunnel.
In the eastern running tunnel.
A concrete spraying machine. Operators are trained using video game technology
A concrete spraying machine. Operators are trained using video game technology
At the western end of the west-bound running tunnel. The tunnel will branch after this point, allowing crossover of trains between the two running tunnels.
At the western end of the west-bound running tunnel. The tunnel will branch after this point, allowing crossover of trains between the two running tunnels.
Chipping away at tunnel innards.
Chipping away at tunnel innards.
A heavy duty hammer drill. These daddies are lowered into the pit fully built.
A heavy duty hammer drill. These daddies are lowered into the pit fully built.

A new station is being clawed out beneath Whitechapel. In 2018, you'll be able to catch a direct train from here to Heathrow Airport. Or Maidenhead. Or any other place on the Crossrail route.

The nascent station is at a key stage in its construction. 640 metres of platform tunnels are approaching completion. They were not built using drills or bores, but by scooping out the earth, a metre deep each time, and nine metres in diameter, then shoring up the hole with spray-on cement.

Preparations are underway for the arrival of tunnel boring machines Elizabeth and Victoria, which will push into the station tunnels from Stepney next month. The pace is frenetic. 32 metres below the streets, we witness London's deepest traffic jam. An army of trucks loop continuously round a circuit. Each collects spoil from the dig face before conveying it round the track to a holding area. A queue of trucks wait the attentions of a heavy-lift crane, which can handle up to 50 tons. On reaching the surface, the spoil is tipped into even bigger trucks, which carry the spoil to barges in the Thames. From there, it's transported to Essex, where it's blended into the soils of Wallasea Island, an embryonic nature reserve.

Click through the gallery above to see more details about this huge engineering project taking place beneath Whitechapel.

See also: Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, In Pictures.

Last Updated 03 March 2016

londona729

I can't wait to catch a Crossrail train!

Roger Manser

You should arrange for these excellent photos to be posted at the station... it might clog up the entrance even more, but I am sure somewhere along one of the corridors, that TfL can find a space.