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Transport Minister visits Crossrail’s Custom House station construction

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Crossrail chief Andrew Wolstenholme visit Laing O'Rourke Midlands plant where Custom House station is being put together Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Crossrail chief Andrew Wolstenholme visit Laing O'Rourke Midlands plant where Custom House station is being put together

Friday, December 13, 2013
1:42 PM

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme invited Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to see east London’s new Custom House station being assembled — but they had to go 130 miles north to the Midlands.

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Crossrail's Custom House station being assembled in the MidlandsCrossrail's Custom House station being assembled in the Midlands

The prefabricated structure is being put together at Laing O’Rourke’s plant at Steetley in the East Midlands.

“It may seem unusual for a station to be put together 130 miles away,” said Crossrail’s boss. “But the method saves time and money and minimises disruption in east London.

“The job on site at Custom House becomes an assembly task rather than traditional construction, which makes the process of building a station simpler.”

Large sections of the station are being built in Steetley and then transported to east London and assembled at the site next to the Royal Docks.

It saves time and costs as well as disruption for families living close by, to existing rail services and the nearby ExCeL conference centre.

Laing O’Rourke director Russell Kellett explained: “Latest advances in digital engineering allows our designers to model every aspect of the new station virtually, then make the structural components in the factory.

“Every item is made to a higher quality than is possible on site, because the process is more efficient. There are also fewer lorries on the road and less time required on site compared to traditional methods.”

The Custom House construction contract is among the 75,000 large and small business deals all over Britain being generated by the £15 billion Crossrail project, equal to 55,000 jobs. Three out of five businesses currently getting Crossrail contracts are outside London, more than half of them small firms.

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