Throughout 2010 Crossrail has been engaged in a value management process to ensure that every pound invested in Crossrail is well spent. Crossrail will report to the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) as Project Sponsors later this year with an updated construction delivery cost. This will ensure that Crossrail is delivered as cost effectively as possible and savings are made wherever it is sensible to do so.
Earlier this month, Network Rail announced that it had submitted to Crossrail the estimated costs for upgrading the existing surface network. Network Rail’s costs for surface works will be a key component of Crossrail’s updated delivery cost submission to Sponsors.
Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “Crossrail and its delivery partners recognise fully that Crossrail is a significant investment. It is critical that every pound invested in this vital scheme achieves maximum value for money. Sensible efficiency savings will be made at every opportunity.
“Crossrail is bearing down on its whole cost base, while ensuring delivery of a new railway that is fit for purpose and delivers the capacity improvements required. We are looking at every aspect of Crossrail to identify where efficiencies can be made and understanding what cost saving lessons can be learned from other global infrastructure projects.”
The value management exercise does not involve reducing the scope of planned Crossrail services between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, or removing stations from the Crossrail scheme. The latest Crossrail business case shows that Crossrail is now more important to the UK economy than ever before – delivering a boost of up to £42bn. Previous estimates were that Crossrail would be worth up to £36bn to the UK economy.
Examples of where cost savings are being realised include:
- Whitechapel station has been completely redesigned to deliver a far better station for passengers but at a cost that is £30m less than the original proposal. Canary Wharf station has also been redesigned to drive down costs.
- Crossrail is closely studying latest demand forecast numbers to ensure the new stations are appropriately sized. It is essential that savings are not made that turn out to be false economies decades later;
- The new Crossrail central route stations have the potential to deliver significant cost savings. Crossrail has let a design contract to ensure that common components such as light fittings and platform indicators are used wherever possible;
- To deliver the Crossrail branch to Abbey Wood, a major proportion of the construction work will involve reusing disused rail infrastructure including the Connaught Tunnel on the former North London Line branch to North Woolwich;
- Bids for two of the three main tunnel contracts have been submitted and are being evaluated – they contain some innovative proposals that could deliver increased value for money; and
- New Crossrail trains will be based on tried and tested designs – designing a new train from scratch drives up the overall cost of rolling stock and is unnecessary to meet Sponsor’s requirements.
Construction of Crossrail got underway at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009 and work on Europe’s largest construction project is now progressing at a number of Central London sites including Bond Street, Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road. The establishment of the tunnel portals is underway at Royal Oak and Limmo with procurement for the main tunnelling contracts at an advanced stage ahead of tunnelling starting in late 2011. The procurement for the new Crossrail rolling stock will get underway in late 2010.
Over 60% of Crossrail’s funding comes from Londoners and London-based business through direct contributions from the City of London, BAA, Canary Wharf Group and a London Business Rates Supplement and planning development levy. The funding package is designed to strike a fair balance from all those that will benefit – businesses, passengers and taxpayers.
Over 2,500 people are now employed on the Crossrail project – 300 directly by Crossrail Limited. Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the height of construction between 2013 and 2015. Nearly £2bn has been invested in the Crossrail project to-date including the costs of getting Parliamentary approval for the Crossrail Bill.
Rob Holden, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Crossrail continues to make significant progress. Main construction works started earlier this year and we now have work underway at five central route station sites – Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road. Over the coming twelve months all the major station and tunnel contracts will be awarded and work will get underway at other sites along the Crossrail route.
“In just over a year from now, the first tunnel boring machines will set out on their journey from Royal Oak towards Farringdon. This will be followed shortly by the launch of further tunnel boring machines in Docklands that will head towards Farringdon under central London. Teams of dedicated construction workers will be working 24 hours a day to complete the tunnels for Europe’s largest construction project with thousands of others employed to upgrade the existing rail network and build major new stations along the central section of the route.”
Progress across the Crossrail route includes:
Bond Street – Demolitions are ongoing, and utility diversions are currently under way.
Canary Wharf – Our partners at Canary Wharf Group continue to make excellent progress. Construction is on time and on budget, with a section of the North Dock now fully drained – nearly 100 million litres of water removed. Piling is complete, a slab is being laid on the dock floor and excavation of the station box gets underway next month.
Farringdon – Network Rail has completed the demolition of Cardinal Tower and has started the piling for the foundations of the new western ticket hall to serve Thameslink and Crossrail. Demolition work to facilitate construction of the eastern ticket hall has begun.
Liverpool Street – Contracts have been awarded for demolitions, site facilities and enabling works at Finsbury Circus, Moorgate and Blomfield Street. As part of the contracts enabling works will also be undertaken on Liverpool Street station.
Paddington – The disused taxi ramp at Paddington has been demolished along with a redundant London Underground ticket hall. Piling work for the foundations of the new Hammersmith & City line stations is now 70 per cent complete. Over 300 tonnes of concrete and other material has been removed from site.
Royal Oak Tunnel Portal – Preparatory work at the Royal Oak tunnel portal site got underway in January 2010. Work on the Royal Oak tunnel portal involves construction of a 190 metre diaphragm walled box to form the foundation for a tunnel boring machine launch. Construction of the actual tunnel portal got underway in late August with the first section of the diaphragm wall installed.
Tottenham Court Road – Following the excellent progress that has been made by London Underground on the eastern ticket hall, enabling works for the western ticket hall are now underway with good progress being made with demolitions and necessary utility diversions.
Whitechapel – The construction of a working platform over the East London Line has commenced.
Rolling stock – Crossrail will start the procurement process in late 2010 for 60 new trains to operate on the Crossrail route.
Stations – Further central route station planning applications will be submitted to relevant planning authorities during the coming months as will the first oversite development application. The major station construction contracts will not be awarded until 2011.