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Contractors World - UK Developments Supplement
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Contractors World 2010 - UK Developments Special Supplement No 3
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Work starts on Europe’s largest infrastructure project

Apart from the works associated with London 2012 Olympic Games, another of Europe’s largest projects is currently in progress beneath the street of London.

The project is to provide a highspeed rail link east to west across London. Services will begin operating from 2017 cutting journey times across London allowing travel from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in 7 minutes, Paddington in 17 minutes and Heathrow in 44 minutes.

CrossRail is London's first new major railway in a generation. Work started with the first of nearly three hundred 18.5 metre tall steel piles that will form the basis of a new station being driven in an area known as North Dock.

This is between Canary Wharf and North Quay and when completed will be one of the largest on the CrossRail network.

The renamed Canary Wharf station will be the first CrossRail station to be constructed, and includes plans for 100,000 square feet of retail space and a roof-top park.

CrossRail is Europe's largest infrastructure project and will employ some 14,000 people at its peak, providing a crucial boost to London and the UK's economy.

Another 7,000 jobs will be supported indirectly through project support services items such as manufacturing equipment.

The vast majority of these jobs will be undertaken by people in London and the UK, particularly those living in boroughs along the CrossRail route which are some of the most deprived in the UK, and creating a lasting skills legacy for London. As a beginning, construction of a new CrossRail Tunnelling Academy began in Spring 2010 and is scheduled to open later this year. It will train thousands of people, providing the skills necessary for work in a variety of tunnelling roles.

CrossRail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through 21.5 km of new twin bore tunnels through central London and on to Canary Wharf, Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.CrossRail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through 21.5 km of new twin bore tunnels through central London and on to Canary Wharf, Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east. The new railway will be designed to initially accommodate 10-carriage trains with provision for longer trains in the future. It will provide new transport links with the Tube, Thameslink, National Rail, Docklands Light railway and London Overground. It is anticipated that over 200 million passengers will use it in the first year of operation.

The scale of CrossRail is of a size and scale not seen for decades. It enables the renewal of key stations in central London with nine new stations built underground in central London, Docklands and Woolwich as well as eleven major reconstructions of national rail stations along the route. CrossRail and an upgraded Tube work together alongside Network Rail upgrades, to improve transport capacity, connectivity, and services across London and the South East.

Main construction works for CrossRail began early 2010 but preparatory work was started earlier and will continue in advance of the start of each new section.

The Government and Transport for London (TfL) have set up a $20 billion funding package to cover the costs, including contingency and inflation, to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.

The station will be six storeys high. Retail areas are planned for four of the six storeys including a landscaped, restaurant and community facility on the top floor. The station is to covered by an elegant, semi open-air timber lattice roof allowing views out over the dock, Canary Wharf and beyond.Canary Wharf CrossRail station

The CrossRail station at Isle of Dogs will now be known as Canary Wharf CrossRail station. It will be one of the largest stations on the CrossRail route.

Canary Wharf Group has issued new images of the station. Like the nearby Canary Wharf Tube station, the new CrossRail station will be built in a dock, in this case the North Dock of West India Quay.

The station will be six storeys high. Retail areas are planned for four of the six storeys including a landscaped, restaurant and community facility on the top floor. The station is to covered by an elegant, semi open-air timber lattice roof allowing views out over the dock, Canary Wharf and beyond.

To enable construction of the station box, 296 steel piles measuring 18.5 m high and 1.2 m wide are being sunk into the dock floor using 10 storey high piling cranes and Giken Piling machines. This is the first time this type of machinery has been used in the UK, although it is extensively used in Japan. The Giken piling is expected to be completed by October this year. Water will then be pumped out of the piled structure to enable a concrete wall to be built as part of the next stage of construction.

North Quay will be the worksite for the new CrossRail station at Canary Wharf. The station box is expected to be completed and handed over to CrossRail by summer 2012. When works are completed the site will be handed back to Canary Wharf Group to enable development of office space at North Quay, which already has planning permission. This development will be demand-led. The station box will be 260 m long and between 27 m and 30 m wide.

The lead contractor and project manager is Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canary Wharf Group. Laing O'Rourke's Expanded Division was the preferred bidder for the enabling and civil engineering works. The station's retail scheme is designed by Foster + Partners, architects of the award-winning Canary Wharf Tube station. The station itself is designed by Tony Meadows and Associates.

The park scheme is designed by Gillespies, one of the UK's foremost landscape designers. The structural engineering and building services is undertaken by Arup.

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