Liverpool Street Elizabeth line station has officially transferred from Crossrail to London Underground as infrastructure manager in another major milestone for the programme.
As part of the work undertaken by Crossrail, a refurbished station entrance for Moorgate station on Moorfields has also opened to customers using the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.
The rest of the new station will open with the start of cross-London Elizabeth line services in the first half of 2022.
London Underground managing director Andy Lord emphasised the “immense complexity” of work at the station, which he described as “a heck of a challenge”.
“This is the first station that customers will be able to use so it’s a really big day for us,” he added.
Built by Laing O’Rourke, the station is the fifth to be transferred to Transport for London (TfL) and the third station which London Underground will take over as infrastructure manager.
A number of physical constraints below ground at Liverpool Street made the station one of the trickiest to thread into the urban fabric, including a maze of sewers, existing Tube lines and the Post Office Railway.
Work at the station was running six months behind schedule due to tunnelling delays, but the Laing O’Rourke team were able to recover this time.
Other challenges included the station’s depth. At 34m below ground at platform level, it is the deepest of the new central London stations and has a total of 15 escalators and seven lifts. Work uncovered nearly 4,000 skeletons from the Bedlam burial site as well as thousands of artefacts dating back to Roman times.
Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild highlighted the scale of the challenge.
“This has been the most difficult engineering station for us but it’s also had the least defects,” he said. “The quality is exceptional. The key success is collaboration between Laing O’Rourke, Crossrail and the London Underground.”
Lord added that “huge credit” is due to the team working on the station.
When the line opens, the station will have a central concourse linking Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations as well as two platforms that are more than 200m long. The grooved and angled ceilings in both ticket halls were formed from pre-cast concrete panels instead of a flat ceiling to create a greater sense of space and movement and resemble the pinstripes often seen in the suits of City workers.
Customers will be able to use Moorgate as well as the new entrance at Broadgate to access services. Due to the length of the trains – more than 200m – many new Elizabeth line stations have more than one entrance.
Overall, Wild said he is “delighted” that the station has been handed over.
“I am proud of everyone who has worked so hard to get this fantastic new railway station over the line and make the most of the limited site space available in the heart of London to build a massive and impressive piece of infrastructure,” he said.
Laing O’Rourke UK infrastructure director Declan McGeeney thanked the construction team for “their dedication and hard work”.
He said: “Using our experience of delivering rail sector infrastructure in the UK and internationally, we have worked in close partnership with Crossrail, London Underground and our supply chain partners, to create a world-class and aesthetically stunning station.”
Lord highlighted that the new ticket hall with step-free access will provide “a more modern experience for those using the station”, while City of London Corporation planning and transportation committee chair Alastair Moss described its opening as “fantastic news for City commuters”.
Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander added: “The Elizabeth line will transform our city’s transport network when it opens next year, and it is great that Londoners are already able to enjoy some of the advantages it will bring.”
The Elizabeth line was part funded by the City of London Corporation and Crossrail has worked with the City Corporation to improve the highway and public realm around the Elizabeth line ticket halls in the Square Mile. New forecourts and plazas around both entrances to Liverpool Street Elizabeth line station will provide pedestrian-friendly, accessible spaces with wider pavements.
The station is now ready for the next stages in the extensive commissioning, which will prepare it for trial operations beginning later this year. Laing O’Rourke will continue demobilisation from the site.
Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/