Crossrail Preview – Whitechapel

Crossrail, who are building the Elizabeth line railway across London that is due to open this December, held “sneak preview” open days recently at two of their stations – Whitechapel in east London, and Tottenham Court Road in the centre of the city. The previews were self-guided tours of part of the new sections of the stations, including the Crossrail platforms and ticket halls.

Here’s some photos from the visit to Whitechapel. This already has Underground and Overground platforms (the former famously underneath the latter) but the Crossrail ones are far deeper down both.

The surface-level station reconstruction looks quite far from finished in places, however on the outside of one of the new buildings there is some nice concrete detailing:

Whitechapel has an additional six months before it comes into use in May 2019 as an Elizabeth line station, when the Shenfield services start to be threaded with the Abbey Wood services, into central London.

Descent was via over a hundred steps – these huge escalators are not yet for public use:

We were then able to walk around a section of the platform. Notice how the main lighting source is a continuous light panel that sits above the platform screen doors, between the two are the next train indicators – these screens for these are tilted down and covered in this picture, with some cabling sticking out:

The glass platform screen doors were visible, along with the pristine looking running track:

A reminder that the project is close to completion:

Also, impressive in size was the huge connecting chamber – there is only one normal exit from each platform, unlike many other Crossrail stations which will have exits at either end. The connecting chambers don’t have regular corners onto the platforms and passages, instead they curve around rather sinuously. The effect is quite futuristic and rather fantastic:

It was great to get out of the oppressive heatwave, down into the cool (for now) platforms of the Crossrail project.

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