Crossrail station style revealed

23 March 2011

A full-scale mock-up of a Crossrail underground station was revealed to invitees at the Leighton Buzzard Technology Centre of Vinci Construction UK this month.

Constructed within a tubular wooden form the ‘station’ will help inform on final design decisions for the new route’s station platforms, says Crossrail, including materials, cctv camera positions, signage, passenger movements, lighting, acoustics and general aesthetics. It will help decisions about whether any design modifications need to be made before main construction of the stations begins.

The mock-up’s interior dimensions are 20m in length, 10m in width, and a ceiling height 5m above the platform-edge doors. The layout includes part of one platform and a cross-passage as an entrance and egress measuring four metres. Mirrors at each edge of the mock-up give the visual impression a full platform length.

Where appropriate actual finishes have been replicated without the expense of using traditional materials by using film-set design techniques, says Crossrail. A sprayed concrete lining is portrayed using sprayed expanded foam on wallpaper. Crossrail area director general William (Bill) Tucker explained to T&TI that a choice of two real concrete flooring materials have been used, and will be tested at Victoria Station before a decision is made. Station design implementation is the responsibility of Julian Robinson, Crossrail head of stations.

Further trials of platform surface materials will be undertaken at Victoria London Underground station later this year. The stations are being designed to last for the next century, says Crossrail. One decision already changed as a result of the mock-up is to place ‘next train’ information displays above the platform edge doors rather than in conventional signs hanging over the 250m-long platform. The platform length will accommodate future trains 240m long as well as current plans for 200m-long trains.

New underground stations for Crossrail are due to be built along the central section of the route at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon (adjacent to the T&TI editorial offices), Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.

Of particular importance in the design trials is the improvement of access and services for passengers with restricted mobility, or those with visual or hearing impediments.

Once the station design and testing work has been completed, Crossrail hopes to retain a section of the mock-up for public display in London so that Londoners can experience something of what travelling on Crossrail will be like.