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Crossrail aims to relieve congestion and support the development of London by providing new rail lines from east to west and north to south. Crossrail will connect 40 stations, including Brentwood and Shenfield in the east to Heathrow airport and Reading in the west. Once the entire service is fully opened it will be renamed the Elizabeth Line and form part of the Transport for London network.
Using the service will make travelling in the region easier and quicker, and help to reduce crowding on London's transport network. It is hoped the line will create a 'golden corridor' providing a huge boost to the economies on the route, with thousands of jobs and homes for local people.
The Council aims to maximise the long term benefits to the Borough’s residents.
What is Crossrail?
Crossrail is the new high frequency, convenient and accessible railway for London and the South East.
From 2018 the service will be renamed as the Elizabeth Line and enable travel from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new tunnels under central London to Heathrow and Reading in the west. It will link Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf, the Royal Docks and Stratford. There will be 40 Crossrail stations including 10 new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood.
The new line will reduce crowding on London's network, providing reduced journey times and increased service. A fleet of 66 new 200 metre long trains will run on the Elizabeth line, featuring nine fully-interconnected walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and real-time travel information. Each train will be able to carry up to 1,500 people.
History and progress
Incarnations of the Crossrail scheme have a long history. Since realising the important role of railways in the London and Regents Canal & Dock Railway plans of the 1880s, through to the post-war Abercrombie Plan and the 1974 London Rail Study, the idea to provide a railway link across London remained an idea. Following the 1989 Central London Rail Study, which again raised the concept of a cross-London rail link, Government interest increased and discussion about options continued into the 1990s.
In July 2000 the Government published a ten year transport plan, which asserted that an east-west rail link should go ahead. The Mayor of London's Transport Strategy also prioritised the relief of overcrowding on London Underground. Following several studies and analysis of route options the Crossrail Hybrid Bill was presented to Parliament between February and July 2005, establishing the principle of the scheme. After a long process of scrutiny the Bill finally received Royal Assent in July 2008 with some changes. This gave Crossrail Ltd the authority to build the railway and a confirmed route.
Various construction work began in May 2009 as Europe's largest construction project. Tunnelling work began in May 2012 and is now complete.
Crossrail Limited is the company charged with delivering Crossrail. Formerly known as Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), it was created in 2001 to promote and develop new lines that meet the needs of the people and businesses throughout the South East, and to ensure that London continues in its role as Europe's leading financial and business centre.
Established as a 50/50 joint venture company between Transport for London and the Department for Transport, Crossrail Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL on 5 December 2008.
How will Crossrail affect Brentwood Borough?
Crossrail will serve Brentwood and Shenfield stations. These are existing stations on the national rail network which will be upgraded to integrate Crossrail services. Work will also be undertaken to improve the sidings at Shenfield in preparation for where the service will terminate as well as new Crossrail trains to replace the existing metro service.
- Brentwood Station: Works include platform extensions to provide for longer trains, new signage, help points, customer information screens and CCTV.
- Shenfield Station: An additional bay platform (6) will be provided for Crossrail trains and new cycle racks installed. There will also be new signage, help points, customer information screens and CCTV.
Crossrail services will be introduced in phases from May 2017 until December 2019. The project will be fully completed and renamed the Elizabeth Line once services start through the central tunnel in December 2019.
Further information on works planned at Brentwood and Shenfield stations can be found on the Crossrail website.
Network Rail works
Network Rail are undertaking other works in the area, independent of Crossrail but including works that prepare for Crossrail services:
- Great Eastern OLE Renewals Project: Renewing electrification equipment from Liverpool Street to Shenfield over the period up to 2017.
- Anglia Route Track Renewals: Ongoing between Liverpool Street and Norwich.
What permission is required from the Council?
The Crossrail Act 2008 grants planning permission for the project. The overall impacts of the project have been assessed in the Crossrail Environmental Statement.
The role of the local planning authority is restricted to Schedule 7 of the Crossrail Act which covers approvals for (1) plans and specifications for permanent works, and (2) temporary construction arrangements. The types of consideration for plans and specifications include the design of stations and ticket halls, noise barriers, external lighting, and car parking. For construction works it includes arrangements for road transport, soil handling, storage, screening, lighting dust suppression and mud on highways. The starting point for construction works is the Environmental Minimum Requirements and construction code. This sets the standards of required works and the authority will consider the suitability of this in the context of the local environment.
Staying up to date on progress
Crossrail produce a series of newsletters and bulletins to help communicate construction progress across the project. Route-wide news is reported in the Crossrail Bulletin. Central section news stories are reported in station newsletters.
You can sign up to receive email notifications about stations of interest by visiting www.crossrail.co.uk/contact-us
For more information please visit the Crossrail Website.
Crossrail operates a 24-hour public helpdesk for any enquiries about the project.
- Telephone: 0345 602 3813