The Anonymous Widower

The Ventilation Shafts For Crossrail

This post is being developed together with a related one of the ventilation shafts for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, to show the sort of buildings we can expect to be created to provide access to new rail tunnels under London and other cities.

As I travel around the city, I will be adding more pictures and when I think the details are complete, I’ll add a summary.

Crossrail  goes from Stratford and Abbey Wood to Royal Oak across the city in twin tunnels.

The tunnels have to have ventilation and emergency access shafts and there are six of them for the Crossrail. The original plan for the tunnels required another eight shafts, but after a redesign they were removed, as is detailed in this note on the Crossrail web site. This is an extract from the note.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today welcomed news that Crossrail has reached agreement with the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to remove eight of the proposed permanent access and ventilation shafts from the central tunnelled section of the new railway.

This decision will particularly benefit communities in east London where four of the permanent shafts were due to be located. The removal of the shafts means the elimination of construction works impacts, including lorry journeys, in these areas. In addition, a number of properties in Hanbury Street in east London will no longer need to be compulsorily purchased and demolished.

The eight shafts no longer required are located at: Westbourne Bridge W2, Hyde Park W2, Park Lane W1, Hanbury Street E1, Lowell Street E14, Hertsmere Road E14, Blackwall Way E14 and Warren Lane SE18.

These permanent access and ventilation shafts would typically be around 9 metres in diameter, with a structure on top the size of a one- or two-storey building.

Looking at that last statement, it would appear that the ventilation shafts for the Channel Tunnel were much larger. Is that progress or just that Channel Tunnel trains are lsrger and faster?

From East to West across London the ventilation shafts that are now being built are as follows.

1. Eleanor Street Ventilation Shaft

This shaft is located in a triangle of rail lines between Bow Road and Bromley-by-Bow District Line stations.

Eleanor Street Ventilation Shaft

The shaft is in the point of the triangle at the eastern end and it shares the triangle with the Eleanor Street Gypsy and Travellers Site. This is another image to a larger scale.

An Enlarged View

An Enlarged View

It clearly shows the round shaft.

After construction, this part of the site has been redesigned as detailed in this page on the architect’s web site.

These are images I took of progress to date, some from a District Line train, passing by the site.

It is possibly the only Crossrail ventilation shaft that you can look into, when you see it from the train. Unfortunately, getting a clear image was diffucult, especially from a train with dirty windows.

2. Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

This shaft is located in Mile End Park, just north of where the rail lines into Fenchurch Street cross Burdett Road. This is a Google Earth image of the site.

Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

 

Note the shaft which is clearly visible in the middle of what looks to be a site fenced off from the rest of the park.

Google found this other image of a drawing of the layout at Mile End Park.

Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

It is at a different angle, but I believe it confirms the black hole in the first image is the shaft.

This Google Earth image shows the shaft in more detail.

An Enlarged View

An Enlarged View

And this is a visualisation of what the shaft will look like when complete.

These are images I took of progress to date, together with several images of the park.

It looks like there will be a concrete retaining wall around the whole site. If you look at the map, visualisations and my actual pictures, I think it could be true to say, that when the ventilation shaft is complete, it will enhance rather than despoil the area. It is certainly orders of magnitude better than the Martello towers of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link

3. Stepney Green Ventilation Shaft

Stepney Green is much more than a ventilation and access shaft as thirty metres down is the junction, where the two eastern branches of Crossrail. join. This is a Google Earth image of the site and the Stepney City Farm, which shares the land.

Stepney Green Ventilation Shaft

Stepney Green Ventilation Shaft

I went there today and took these pictures.

As you can see, I also had a cup of tea in a genuine willow pattern cup and saucer, that must have been fifty years old at least.

To me, this project, where one of the largest holes ever dug in Europe has been created shows how with good thinking and project management skills even the largest and most difficult projects can be carried out, without upsetting the neighbours.

Every project manager in charge of a project that is a bit sensitive, should go to Stepney City Farm to see how projects should be performed.

4. Durward Street Ventilation Shaft

Tucked away between the Blind Beggar public house and Whitechapel’s Sainsburys supermarket is the Durward Street Ventilation Shaft. This Google Earth image shows the shaft.

Durward Street Ventilation Shaft

Durward Street Ventilation Shaft

Note how little space, there is in this area.

5. Blomfield Street Ventilation Shaft

This shaft is by Liverpool Street and is described on this page on the Crossrail web site. This lead paragraph describes its main functions.

At the Blomfield Street worksite we are constructing the Blomfield Box, a ventilation shaft for Liverpool Street Station; it is Crossrail’s deepest piled shaft. The shaft will house mechanical and electrical plant as well as service as an emergency escape route from the station.

The position of the shaft is shown in this Google Earth image.

Blomfield Street Ventilation Shaft

Blomfield Street Ventilation Shaft

The actual shaft is hidden by the buildings, but you should be able to read Blomfield Street. On the ground there is a gap in the buildings, where the shaft is being built.

Blomfield Street Vent Shaft Location

Blomfield Street Vent Shaft Location

I suspect that the shaft will be topped by a useful building in an appropriate style, as any land within the actual City is so valuable.

6.Fisher Street Ventilation Shaft

This shaft is just north of Holborn station and is shown on this Google Earth image.

Fisher Street Ventilation Shaft

Fisher Street Ventilation Shaft

Note the shaft in the top right of the image. There is not much to see on the ground yet.

Fisher Street Ventilation Shaft

Fisher Street Ventilation Shaft

The picture shows the site from Southampton Row.

 

 

 

April 12, 2015 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] post is being developed together with a related one of the ventilation shafts for Crossrail, to show the sort of buildings we can expect to be created to provide access to new rail tunnels […]

    Pingback by The Ventilation Shafts For The Channel Tunnel Rail Link « The Anonymous Widower | April 12, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] differences between the ventilation and access shafts in Crossrail and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link seem to be more than you would […]

    Pingback by Crossrail And The Channel Tunnel Rail Link Compared « The Anonymous Widower | April 12, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] I researched the ventilation shafts for Crossrail, I was surprised how few of them they […]

    Pingback by Crossrail’s Secret Ventilation Shaft « The Anonymous Widower | April 15, 2015 | Reply

  4. […] It is worthwhile looking at the shafts and head-house designs for Crossrail, which I described in The Ventilation Shafts For Crossrail. […]

    Pingback by Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Tunnels, Shafts And Head-Houses « The Anonymous Widower | October 29, 2015 | Reply


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