London Mayor Boris Johnson and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have marked the start of construction on the new Crossrail station in North Dock between Canary Wharf and North Quay to bring down the journey time across London.

The new station will include 100,000ft² of retail space and a rooftop park.

The project involves the building of 41km of 6m-diameter single-bore tunnels, construction of seven underground stations, and electrification of the Airport Junction – Maidenhead line.

London’s Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said that as part of Crossrail the new station will deliver a capacity boost and expand the capital’s transport network.

“When it is completed in 2017, the new station will play a key role in relieving congestion on the Tube and extending access to key retail and business centers to passengers from all over London and across the South of England,” he said.

The central tunnel under London will link the Great Western Main Line at Paddington with the Great Eastern Main Line at Stratford, with an underground branch from Whitechapel running under the River Thames to Abbey Wood.

Main construction work will initially start at Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road and Paddington by next year.

Once the project becomes operational in 2017, it will serve up to 200m passenger per year and passengers can travel from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in 7 minutes, Paddington in 17 minutes and Heathrow in 44 minutes.

Cossrail will run for 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through 21.5km of new twin bore tunnels through central London and on to Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.