Crossrail Whitechapel construction site
- Original design
- BDP, 2018
The 2017 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2018 programme in July.
Crossrail Limited is building a new railway for London, running from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The project is building 10 new stations and upgrading 30 more, while integrating new and existing infrastructure.
The £14.8 billion Crossrail project is currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Construction began in 2009 at Canary Wharf, and is now over 85% complete.
The new railway, which will be known as the Elizabeth line when services begin in 2018, will be fully integrated with London’s existing transport network and will be operated by Transport for London. New state-of-the-art trains will carry an estimated 200 million passengers per year. The new service will speed up journey times, increase central London’s rail capacity by 10% and bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.
Located in a rich and culturally diverse area, Whitechapel station is an important interchange for both the Hammersmith & City and District lines and London Overground. The design approach will see the new Elizabeth line station weave between the existing transport services to an elevated station concourse which acts as a bridge improving community links.
Access to all interchange services will be from a spacious, new ticket hall sitting on a bridge above the Victorian railway. Entry to the station will be through the refurbished original entrance on Whitechapel High Street. To improve connectivity to the surrounding area a new second entrance will be provided at the northern end of the station.
The new station concourse will sweep from the High Street over the East-West Underground lines and above the north-south Overground lines before dipping under the road bridge at Durward Street. It continues along the course of the railway cutting where it then allows access to the new platforms.
The raised concourse perches on steel struts, resting on the brick arches of the Overground cutting. It floats in the space, allowing daylight down to the Overground platforms. Its green roof, topped with sedum plants, will dip down under a new bridge connecting it to Durward Street, and will provide several environmental benefits including improvements to air quality, noise and storm water attenuation, conservation and biodiversity.
Natural light and fresh air from the station concourse creates a calm, open, brightly-lit environment. A new public square at the northern end of the station provides a new pedestrian link to Whitechapel High Street.
Escalators down to the Elizabeth line platform at the northern end are placed in a diagonal slice through the western vent shaft building.
All this is mostly hidden from view externally, behind the existing refurbished modest Victorian station frontage on the High Street, where a widened stone-paved footway makes a forecourt, with a new concourse behind it.
A public footway will run right through the station from end to end, reconnecting people north of the station with the High Street. Also to the north, a landscaped public square will replace what is at present a surface car park.
To the west, Court Street, leading to a pedestrian bridge over the Underground tracks, will be made vehicle-fee, better paved and lit to be more welcoming. To the south, the widened pavement on Whitechapel Road will link across to the former Whitechapel Hospital.
In addition to the station improvements, Crossrail has been working with Tower Hamlets Council on proposals for improvements to the area around the station.
Whitechapel station will open in December 2018 when Elizabeth line services begin through central London. Trains will terminate at Paddington in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.
When the route fully opens in December 2019, a train every two and a half minutes at peak time will allow passengers to travel all the way through to Paddington, Heathrow or Reading in the west and Shenfield or Abbey Wood in the east
Key journey times from Whitechapel:
To: Bond Street - Current journey time 23 minutes, Elizabeth line journey time 10 minutes.
To: Canary Wharf - Current journey time 13 minutes, Elizabeth line journey time 3 minutes.