Crossrail tunnel bids offer hope of big savings

Aaron Morby 14 years ago

Big savings in estimated tunneling costs are expected to help Crossrail save hundreds of millions from its £15.9bn budget.

Today Crossrail highlighted the progress made on the project ahead of sending its latest delivery cost estimates to Government before the end of the year.

Crossrail also confirmed that the value management exercise did not involve scrapping stations or reducing the lines planned between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Over the coming twelve months all the major station and tunnel contracts will be awarded and work will get underway at other sites along the Crossrail route.

The firm said that bids for two of the three main tunneling contracts were being evaluated and contained “some innovative proposals that could deliver increased value for money”.

Nearly £2bn has been invested in the Crossrail project to-date including the costs of getting Parliamentary approval for the Crossrail Bill.

Now over 2,500 people are now employed on the Crossrail project – 300 directly by Crossrail.

Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the height of construction between 2013 and 2015.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “Crossrail and its delivery partners recognise fully that Crossrail is a significant investment.

“Crossrail is bearing down on its whole cost base, while ensuring delivery of a new railway that is fit for purpose and delivers the capacity improvements required.

“We are looking at every aspect of Crossrail to identify where efficiencies can be made and understanding what cost saving lessons can be learned from other global infrastructure projects.”

The latest Crossrail business case shows that Crossrail is now more important to the UK economy than ever before – delivering a boost of up to £42bn.

Previous estimates were that Crossrail would be worth up to £36bn to the UK economy.

Cost control measures so far

  • Whitechapel station completely redesigned to deliver a far better station, £30m below original estimates.
  • Canary Wharf station redesigned to drive down costs.
  • Crossrail is closely studying latest demand forecast numbers to ensure the new stations are appropriately sized. It is essential that savings are not made that turn out to be false economies decades later
  • Crossrail has let a design contract to ensure that common components such as light fittings and platform indicators are used wherever possible on central route stations
  • To deliver the Crossrail branch to Abbey Wood, a major part of construction work reuses old rail infrastructure including the Connaught Tunnel on the former North London Line branch to North Woolwich
  • New Crossrail trains will be based on tried and tested designs

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