Search

Video: Connaught Tunnel prepared for Crossrail route

11:05 03 April 2014

Crossrail

Crossrail's Connaught Tunnel site in the Docklands. The victorian rail tunnel was built in 1878 and has been disused since 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Archant

Work has been taking place deep underground to prepare an old Victorian tunnel for Crossrail trains to pass through it.

Crossrail project manager Linda Miller in the Connaught Tunnel site in the Docklands. The victorian rail tunnel was built in 1878 and has been disused since 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure.

Picture by Ellie HoskinsCrossrail project manager Linda Miller in the Connaught Tunnel site in the Docklands. The victorian rail tunnel was built in 1878 and has been disused since 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

The Connaught Tunnel, which runs below the Royal Docks, was built in 1878 but has been left derelict since 2006, when the North London Line closed.

The 550 metre long tunnel is now being deepened, strengthened and widened to allow up to 12 trains an hour to run through it in each direction.

It is the only disused tunnel to be brought back into use for Crossrail.

Linda Miller, project manager for the Connaught Tunnel, said: “Restoring this beautiful Victorian tunnel is a unique job.

Crossrail's Connaught Tunnel site in the Docklands. The victorian rail tunnel was built in 1878 and has been disused since 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure.

Picture by Ellie HoskinsCrossrail's Connaught Tunnel site in the Docklands. The victorian rail tunnel was built in 1878 and has been disused since 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

“While the rest of Crossrail has been busy constructing new tunnels and stations, the work here has been more about renovating and strengthening the existing structure to make sure it’s ready for the new trains.”

The central section of the tunnel weakened structurally during the deepening of the Royal Victoria Dock in 1935.

It has survived a direct hit from a German bomb during the Second World War as well as having numerous large ships scrape the top of the structure while in the docks.

Soot from the steam trains that originally ran through the tunnel has also been cleaned from the bricks.

“The Victorians certainly knew how to build a railway,” said Linda.

“It’s testament to the people who built the Connaught Tunnel that, 135 years after it was opened, the brickwork remains in such good condition.

“We have worked very closely with the community in Newham, going into local schools and regularly meeting with local people, to make sure that residents and businesses are kept up to date about the work that we have been doing.”

Crossrail will link Maidenhead to Abbey Wood and Shenfield via central London, reducing travel time and bringing 1.5 million more people to within 45 minutes of the capital when it becomes fully operational in 2019.

Newham will have five Crossrail stations; four that are currently operated by Greater Anglia on the Shenfield branch and a new station at Custom House, which will be served by the Abbey Wood route.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

08:00
Hoskins Close residents won a victory on mould in their homes

Tenants and residents celebrated a victory against mould by baking “mouldy” gingerbread house biscuits for the council.

Yesterday, 15:45
Representatives from What You Do Matters with the shoeboxes

Supporters of What You Do Matters have helped the organisation smash their Toy Appeal target by collecting 339 shoeboxes full of gifts.

Yesterday, 11:40
Young patients at the Royal London Hospital receive their gifts. From left:  Rhyanne Gasper, 14, from Newham, Naeem Agbongbon, 8, from Ockenden, Essex, Eron Ufuah, 9, from Canning Town, and Harshika Partheepan, 4 months, from Newbury Park, with volunteers from the Kindness Offensive Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Children being treated in hospital over Christmas received hundreds of gifts in a surprise visit by well-wishers.

Royal London Hospital
Yesterday, 11:19
The cellar in Betty's old house where she cowered as a child

From the baby-sized gas mask to the make-shift beds, Betty Sexton has had a poignant year saying goodbye to her old belongings.

London

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition