Crossrail West Stations was the redevelopment of 14 stations from Maidenhead to Acton Mainline on the western Crossrail route. The stations required upgrading to make them suitable for the new longer, higher capacity, Crossrail trains. The project involved platform extensions, canopy cutbacks and new cabling and ductwork on most stations. New station structures were to be constructed at several of the sites including Acton Mainline, Southall, West Ealing, Hayes and Harlington and Ealing Broadway.
Crossrail West Stations
The Crossrail West regional route map
From August 2014 to August 2015 I was the Senior Engineer managing the extensive construction works at West Drayton Station, one of the Crossrail West sites. These works include platform extensions, station modifications and the construction of two footbridges across the relief lines and goods lines. The two images below show the entrance to West Drayton station in it's then-state and a render of how the redeveloped Crossrail station will look.
Front of station before Crossrail
Front of station after Crossrail opens
Working within the operational railway environment presents a number of unique challenges such as working within line possessions and planning works adjacent to open lines. Much work must also take place on the platform itself and so meticulous project management was required to ensure works could be carried out without affecting the train service, or causing disruption to the public.
Engineering management at West Drayton also included identifying, managing and applying engineering solutions and carrying out temporary works designs. These included ground retention schemes, scaffolding and timber structures.
The gallery shows some of the key works taking place at West Drayton
New Retaining Wall
In this image, precast concrete retaining wall sections were lifted into place. Precast concrete has many benefits over in-situ concrete, such as quicker installation time, less labour intensity and better quality control.
The project invested in a 3D scanner which conducted full 360° three dimensional as-built colour surveys in as little a ten minutes. The data was uploaded into a point cloud model that was used for a huge range of actions such as carrying out measurements, highlighting snags and making notes for other parties. This piece of technology helped to save time and reduce costs thus making whole project team become more lean.
As the construction works could not impact upon the train services or disrupt the public, certain works could not be carried out during the day shifts. The staff worked around the clock to ensure the programme was met
This photo demonstrates how close the site works and new retaining wall construction were to the operational railway. All of the staff underwent Personal Track Safety (PTS) training to ensure they were fully aware of how to stay safe when working on or near the live railway line.
This might look like a photograph, but this it actually shows a 3D scan of West Drayton, uploaded as a co-ordinated point cloud. This data was used as an as-built survey and used to demonstrate progress.
In this picture, the night shift team installed a 'polybridge' across the railway line. Polybridges are made of lightweight, easy to handle and highly compressible polystyrene. These bridges are quick to install and allow the construction team to efficiently move plant and material between platforms.
The key project challenge was constructing the works in a live rail environment without disrupting existing services. The project also involved works in highly residential areas, within five different boroughs and so minimising nuisance was essential
I spent eight months as an environmental engineer, managing the implementation of ecological protection, energy and carbon reduction, waste management and sustainability aspects of the project. During my time on the environmental team I provided engineering input into development of environmental management systems, and within applications for required authorisations such as council Section 61 agreements. I also developed my environmental knowledge in order to lead environmental management back on site and improve the ability of the construction team.
One of our construction managers decided to spruce up the construction compound at Taplow by using only recycled materials. This picture shows a break out area for the operatives with benches made out of timber pallets and a table made from an old cable drum.