Long way to go: the project was given Royal Assent in 2008, with services expected to begin between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in 2015 The machine completed the 4.2-mile stretch from Royal Oak to Farringdon. So far, 13 of the 26 miles of tunnels on the the £14.8billion project have been drilled.
Control: the operations room for Crossrail's giant tunnel boring machine (TBM), Phyllis
Hard work: some of the team involved in the Crossrail project
Vast: one of the Crossrail tunnels last year
Big the TBMs used in boring weigh just shy of 1,000 tonnes
The new station for Custom House is taking shape in a factory near Sheffield, pictured left, before being transported to London for assembly in 2015.
Crossrail chiefs say this will save time and money and minimise disruption for residents near the new line.
Built by Laing O’Rourke, the station will serve ExCel London and intersect the Docklands Light Railway line.
Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman, said: “The construction of Custom House station is a perfect example of how a pound invested in London’s infrastructure delivers economic benefit to the rest of the UK, in this case securing skilled manufacturing jobs in the East Midlands.”
Roger Robinson, CEO Europe for Laing O’Rourke said: “Digital engineering has allowed us to design the station virtually before feeding the specifications directly to our manufacturing facility at Steetley where the major structural components are manufactured and pre-assembled in a controlled factory environment.
“Transporting them to London for assembly on site minimises site traffic volumes and general disruption to the local community, as well as reducing pollution and waste levels.”
The Crossrail station is being built on the site of the former North London line station and will include a new ticket hall, an interchange with the DLR and step-free access between the platforms and street level.
When Crossrail opens, up to 12 trains an hour will link Custom House with central London and beyond, improving access between the Royal Docks and London’s key employment areas.
The journey between Custom House and Bond Street will be about 10 minutes quicker and passengers travelling to and from Heathrow should shave about 35 minutes off their journey.
The new station — at the junction of Victoria Dock Road and Freemasons Road — is the only above-ground station in Crossrail’s central section. Work on the site is scheduled to finish in December 2015.