After a decade in the making, a new generation of London mega-station interchanges is approaching completion.
On average Transport for London has one big station to bring into use during a typical year, but the culmination of the Crossrail programme means it is currently dealing with nine at once. Each is a major transport project in its own right but must also conform to the complex requirements that will allow the Elizabeth Line to operate as a seamless railway.
T-12 has emerged as a key progress marker for each station build, telling us that a station is 12 weeks away from being handed over to Elizabeth Line infrastructure operator TfL. In last month’s update Custom House and Farringdon were the only stations to have checked off this milestone, but a month on and Tottenham Court Road and Paddington have been added to the list.
It’s been so long since we saw the station designs that it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate the scale of what has been achieved and the transport experience that awaits us in 2022.
Paddington is a station that is affectionately thought of by many – and it’s about to get a good deal better. Built by a joint venture of Costain and Skanska, Paddington Elizabeth Line station has been constructed below ground next to the 19th century Grade I listed Brunel train shed. It features a 120-metre-long entrance canopy on Eastbourne Terrace and the station extends four levels below Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road, with entrances from above via a newly pedestrianised public area that connects to the existing national rail terminus. A late addition to the programme was construction of a pedestrian tunnel to provide a direct connection between the Elizabeth and Bakerloo Lines. Under a separate non-Crossrail project, Paddington’s Bakerloo ticket hall is to be demolished and replaced with a larger, modern facility with lifts to platforms. Construction of this new ticket hall begins this spring.