Located in Greater London, UK, Woolwich Station is being built by Crossrail Limited (CRL) as part of the Crossrail rail project, which is jointly sponsored by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL). The opening of the new Crossrail station will reduce the journey time from Woolwich to Canary Wharf, Bond Street and Heathrow stations to just eight minutes, 21min and 47min respectively.
The construction of a station at Woolwich was not proposed as part of the original Crossrail route. However, the House of Commons Select Committee recognised its inclusion in March 2007.
When Crossrail becomes operational in 2018, the new station located on the south-east section of the route will see up to 12 trains an hour. It will run during peak hours, connecting south-east London and the Royal Docks with Canary Wharf, central London and beyond.
The Woolwich station is being built on the south-east portion of the Crossrail line that ends at Abbey Wood. The Woolwich redevelopment site at Royal Arsenal is a waterside housing and retail development area adjacent to the Woolwich station. It is spread across approximately 30ha of land and is being developed by Berkeley Homes.
The site is being developed with the construction of approximately 2,517 new homes, in addition to the 1,248 homes already built. The area also includes a new heritage quarter along with the Greenwich Heritage Centre and Royal Artillery Museum, as well as infrastructural developments such as retail stores, restaurants and cafes, offices, hotels, community centres and a cinema.
TfL and DfT reached a private funding agreement with Berkeley Homes to construct the Woolwich station box in February 2011. The station box was completed in February 2013 and handed over to CRL in the next month.
The final fitting of the station structure is in progress after a £54m (approximately $87.8m) funding agreement was signed with Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) and Berkeley Homes in July 2013.
Any further funding required to make the station fully operational will be provided by CRL from its existing budget.
The station box internally measures 256m long, 26.6m wide at the East and West ends and 20.4m at the centre, and about 15m deep to the top of the base slab. Located close to the water table, the underground site for the station box consists of Thanet Sand, which required continuous dewatering at the time of construction.
The station box construction was meticulously planned to meet the guidelines to avoid damage to the English Heritage Grade II listed buildings nearby.
Chiltern Railways is currently constructing a new rail line between Oxford and London Marylebone, UK.
The structure also features special ‘soft eye’ panels in the end walls to allow the entry and exit of the tunnel boring machines (TBM). It acts as an important staging post for the two 1,000t tunnelling machines named Sophia and Mary to drill through the twin-bore tunnels from Plumstead, underneath the River Thames to North Woolwich.
The civil engineering and construction works for the station started in January 2012 and are planned to be completed by 2017, following which the fitout and testing works will begin.
An oversite development has also been proposed above the central section of the Woolwich station box.
Waterman was awarded the contract to undertake the concept design for the Woolwich station box in 2009. Berkeley Homes was responsible for building the structure.
International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty was awarded a £70m ($113.8m) contract to fit-out the Crossrail station at Woolwich in September 2014. The company will employ approximately 200 people to complete the project in four years.
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