This weekend is the big weekend for the new Pudding Mill Lane station on the Docklands Light Railway. I took these pictures on the trains to and from Ipswich yesterday.
It is slated to open on Monday the 28th. Nothing I’ve seen or heard makes me think that this date won’t be kept to create one of the main entry stations for the Olympic Park.
So I got a good look at all the stations in between and I think it is true to say, that for many Crossrail can’t come soon enough.
A lot of the stations have simple staircases with no lifts to provide access between the platforms and the street.
At least though the improvements that are programmed, can be done to a convenient schedule without waiting for the main tunnels to be fitted out and the arrival of the new trains.
The third most visited story on the BBC’s web site today, is this story about Crossrail. Here’s the first paragraph.
Skeletons unearthed in London Crossrail excavations are Black Death victims from the great pandemic of the 14th Century, forensic tests indicate.
The story is even the subject of a Channel 4 program on April 6th.
Crossrail is certainly showing how to use archaeology as a publicity tool.
I talked about this happening in this post nearly a year ago.
Now according to various reports like this one in Modern Railways, it’s going to happen.
I do think sometimes that the planning of Crossrail wasn’t done by those possessed of great imagination, unlike some of those involved in the actual building of the railway.
Extending to Reading would appear to be an improvement that doesn’t need much new infrastructure or trains.
If you look at extending the Shenfield branch of Crossrail, there is no suitable station, as the only large conurbation; Chelmsford has a very cramped station.
Some of the supports for the Crossrail station at Custom House have now been erected.
I met two Laing O’Rourke engineers, who were working on the project on the bridge and they said that in three months, a lot of the station will have been assembled.
They also said that the finish of the concrete was much better having been built in a factory than if it had been made on site.
The Londonist is organising a pub crawl based on Crossrail stations.
From Portals To The Past, I decided to walk along Oxford Street to Marks and Spencer, to see if they had any short-sleeved shirts.
It is not the easiest of walks and after the exhibition, I wondered what effect Crossrail will have on this walk.
One of the guides at the exhibition had told me, she’d walked one of the new stations a few days ago and because of the 200m length of the Class 345 trains for Crossrail, the stations have very long platforms. So one problem, Crossrail will get when it opens, is that passengers will complain about the endless walks. But as you can walk inside the trains, as they are effectively one coach with lots of segments, you will align yourself with your exit, when you do a regular journey. I do this walking along the train regularly on the Overground, as I’d rather walk in a warm train, than a cold platform.
I do wonder that as Crossrail gets used more and passengers learn how to use it, they will find there best and quickest routes and especially in bad weather will walk underground, thus taking a percentage of walkers away from Oxford Street.
The double-ended stations may also end up as rat-runs for those, who know their London and have Oyster Cards or Freedom Passes to bypass large sections of crowded pavements.
Hopefully too, Crossrail will take passengers from the Central line, so that walkers will use that if going from say Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch.
I did get my short-sleeved shirts and after exiting the shop, the heavens opened with a vengeance.
Summer came on Sunday, as the pictures of the Thames Barrier showed and now it’s gone!
Crossrail have opened another exhibition called Portals To The Past, showing the various archaeological discoveries they have made.
It wasn’t as large as last year’s exhibition, but nevertheless, if you’re in the area it’s worth a look.
There was also a knowledgeable engineer answering questions.
Last year Crossrail showed off all of their archaeological finds. now they are running another exhibition, to show the latest discoveries.
If it’s half as good as last year’s event, it will be unmissable.