Inside London's £15 billion Underground upgrade opening next year

The new line is set to be fully open by late 2019 connecting east to west London

Russell Sheldrake
Business Insider
Wednesday 20 December 2017 15:33
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London's massive upgrade to the existing underground system, which will be known as the Elizabeth line once it opens, is the biggest construction project ever undertaken in Europe.

The £14.8 billion project, which connects 30 existing stations with 26 miles of new tunnels, is now roughly 90% complete after work started in 2009.

The permanent track was finished this September, which means trains are now able to travel the full length of the tunnel.

Services from Liverpool Street to Shenfield will open in December 2018 with the full line being operational by the end of 2019. The section of the line that will be operational from December 2018 have now been illustrated on an updated Tube map.

Work on Crossrail began in 2009. Giant tunnel boring machines were used to dig a network of big, empty tunnels.

Here is the main tunneling machine, called Elizabeth, breaking through to Farringdon.

A big crane was used to lower the machine into the main shaft of the Elizabeth line.

Once the boring machines finish the tunnels, the only way to get them out is to dismantle them.

Equipment is moved around by rolling multi-purpose gantries in the Crossrail tunnel.

The platform for Bond street will be in this massive cavern.

And this is the future home of the Farringdon platform.

The tunnels are nearly ready by Stepney Green heading eastbound between the Whitechapel and Stratford stations.

Here is the permanent track being finished off between Stepney Green and Pudding Mill Lane.

The tracks are now completely laid for the Elizabeth line and nearly ready for the first trains.

The line will stretch all the way from Reading in the west through to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

This is what the Farringdon station site looked like two years ago above ground...

...the new station will feature diamond structural beams in the ceiling.

The Bond Street station will be accessed by a new stairwell with glass-fibre reinforced concrete ceiling tiles.

This was the Tottenham Court Road entrance while it was still under construction but is now fully operational.

The new riverside station at Canary Wharf is built 18 metres below water level.

Inside the new station, customers will find a timber lattice roof and a garden on the top floor.

When the station fully opens in December 2019, it will connect Canary Wharf with the West End and Heathrow.

The new Paddington station will span three levels when it opens in December 2018.

The new Elizabeth Line trains have wider doors to make boarding quicker.

All trains have walk-through carriages, like the Overground lines.

The trains have a mix of metro-style and bay seating, ideal for groups.

The new screens provide real-time travel updates. Customers also have access to free Wi-Fi.

Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the purple Elizabeth Line logo at a naming ceremony in February 2016.

As of October this year, just over 10% of the project remains unfinished. Over the next few months, the focus will be on fitting out the railway, including installing platform screen doors and overhead lines to power the trains.

Once fully open, the line is expected to carry 10 million people every year between the 10 new stations.

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