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Crossrail station profile: Paddington

Crossrail’s Paddington station demands a design that both preserves the historical integrity of the Grade I listed building and provides an enhancement fit for the 21st century. By 2010, passengers will be standing in a transformed station after Network Rail fully restores platforms 9 to 12 and the Edwardian roof above.

Paddington lies on the central section’s critical path because the westbound and eastbound tunnel bores will pass through prior to commencement of major excavation works.

The new Crossrail station will complement the grandeur of Paddington main line station, providing an impressive new gateway to London. International passengers will arrive at Paddington from Heathrow airport and the transformation of the station is the opportunity to create that all important first impression. “The challenge will be to build on the success of our predecessors − Victorian engineers and architects, who created the glamour and excitement of rail travel.

“This will be achieved by creating well-designed and proportioned spaces ensuring that passengers experience the station in all its glory,” says Crossrail Central project manager for Paddington John Montgomerie. The station will take the form of an underground box located directly under Departures Road and Eastbourne Terrace. The box will be 260m-long, 25m-wide and 23m-deep.

Structures housing tunnel ventilation, evacuation facilities, intervention and station ventilation equipment will extend above ground level concentrated at either end of the station box.

“It presents a significant opportunity for improvement to the station space and we are engaging all project stakeholders to look at this area of the design.”

John Montgomerie, Crossrail Central

The current proposal is for the box to be built in two main phases to accommodate the traffic flow on Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road. This approach presents significant engineering and logistical challenges. Maintaining two lanes of traffic and routing pedestrians safely alongside the works will necessitate careful management.

“The roof of the box will create the base for a new urban realm. It presents a significant opportunity for improvement to the station space and we are engaging all project stakeholders to look at this area of the design,” says Montgomerie.

The Crossrail station will provide a number of passenger entrances, the main entrance will be in the same place as the existing Network Rail station entrance on Departures Road.

There will be a shallow cut and cover passageway in Praed Street connecting Crossrail to London Underground’s District and Circle Lines and two tunnels to connect to the Bakerloo Line − a pre-cast segmental tunnel approximately 80m-long and a hand excavated tunnel, approximately 26m-long.

Mitigation measures for the construction of the Bakerloo Line connection tunnel beneath the Paddington station concourse include the underpinning of column foundations using bored grout mini piles.

“The feasibility of this solution is dependent on the nature and condition of the existing foundations and whether it is possible to locate and drill the mini piles through sound structural foundations,” explains Montgomerie.

Trial pits are planned to investigate these column foundations and inspect the connection between the columns and the foundation bases. It may be necessary to construct a reinforced concrete collar around the existing foundations and form a structural connection.”

“The feasibility of this solution is dependent on the nature and condition of the existing foundations and whether it is possible to locate and drill the mini piles through sound structural foundations.”

John Montgomerie, Crossrail Central

There will be a single island platform at track level for eastbound and westbound Crossrail trains separated at each end by the evacuation and ventilation cores. Each core incorporates a pair of scissor staircases, intervention lifts, tunnel draught relief and three sets of tunnel ventilation fans. Automatic screen doors will extend along the full length of the 250m platforms.

The central platform area is located within a linear atrium below a street level glass façade which provides contact with the external environment. During the day sunlight filters through a series of street level shades to the sub-surface station.

“Careful management of the design and stakeholder involvement is crucial to maintaining the support of Westminster City Council, English Heritage, Land Securities, London Underground, Network Rail and local community groups,” adds Montgomerie. “The team is committed to developing the right solutions for Paddington.”

The project will also see a new taxi facility built. The Paddington Integrated Project (PIP) was established in May 2008 to relocate taxis from Departures Road to Red Star Deck to allow construction of the new Paddington station to begin in April 2011. Detailed design is currently underway and construction begins in November.

The PIP incorporates the aspirations of Crossrail, London Underground (LU), Network Rail and Transport for London and provides mutual benefits:

  • A new taxi facility to the side of the Network Rail station with greater capacity to help reduce the number of taxis queuing on Bishop’s Bridge Road.
  • An improved new pedestrian entrance from the canal towpath to both Paddington mainline Station and the new Hammersmith & City Line station for LU. This will resolve existing overcrowding issues and provide space for future growth in passenger numbers.
  • Provision to accommodate a future commercial development over the area between Bishops Bridge, the towpath of the Grand Union Canal and the Hammersmith & City Line station.

Crossrail run times from Paddington

  • Canary Wharf 17 mins
  • Whitechapel 13 mins
  • Liverpool Street 10 mins
  • Farringdon 08 mins
  • Tottenham Court Road 05 mins
  • Bond Street 03 mins
  • Paddington n/a

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