Canary Wharf Elizabeth line station has been transferred to Transport for London (TfL), which means the station can be fully integrated with the operational network ahead of the Elizabeth line opening in the first half of 2022. Nine out of the 10 central stations have now been transferred from Crossrail to TfL.
Staff from MTR Elizabeth line, who will operate Canary Wharf, will continue familiarisation with the station, its procedures, facilities and systems. They will also undertake Trial Operations exercises to replicate scenarios that may occur when the station is open to customers.
With Trial Operations having stated on the central section in November, the railway will enter its next stage with larger exercises involving staff and partner organisations imminently. Trial Operations is the final phase of the programme before the Elizabeth line opens for passenger services between Paddington and Abbey Wood in the first half of this year.
The Elizabeth line will help transform life and travel in London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links and accessibility, cutting journey times and providing additional capacity with spacious new stations and walk-through trains. The new railway will provide new journey options and support wider regeneration, creating jobs, business opportunities and providing a huge economic boost. It will also connect London’s major employment centres and increase central London rail capacity by 10 per cent.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “This is the ninth station to be handed over to TfL and marks another big milestone for the Elizabeth line before it opens for passengers in the first half of this year. Canary Wharf is a great place to live, work and spend time, and the new Elizabeth line will make it quicker and easier for people to travel around London as the city recovers from the pandemic.”
Andy Byford, Transport for London’s Commissioner, said: “This station handover is another step forward before the railway opens in the first half of the year. Canary Wharf is a thriving area of the capital, not just for business, but for those who live in the area and enjoy the retail and leisure activities. This iconic station, sitting below the shopping centre, will be part of the Crossrail place development – a destination in its own right. The Elizabeth line will provide new, much needed, direct transport links across London and beyond.”
Mark Wild, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Canary Wharf Elizabeth line station has been transferred to Transport for London and thank all those that have worked so hard to achieve this. This beautiful and iconic station will help connect this key business district to the City of London, the West End and Heathrow. These more seamless journeys will improve access to employment and create further job opportunities.
“We are progressing well with Trial Operations, which is the final phase before passenger services. With a series of more complex exercises, which will include evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff due to begin soon.”
Shobi Khan, CEO, Canary Wharf Group, said: “It’s fantastic to see the completed Canary Wharf station handed over to TfL, as the Elizabeth line gets ready to start operations. The Elizabeth line will be a game changer for London and for Canary Wharf. Residents, workers and visitors to Canary Wharf will benefit from fast, comfortable new trains, transforming connectivity and journey times across the capital.
“Canary Wharf Group is proud to have delivered an exceptional station building, which is already a popular destination with shops, restaurants like Big Easy and Pergola on The Wharf, an Everyman Cinema and entertainment spaces, a beautiful garden, and waterside boardwalks.”
Canary Wharf Elizabeth line station was constructed by Canary Wharf Group and sits below a five-storey mixed-use development known as Crossrail Place. The new station will connect this key business district to the City of London, the West End and later directly to Heathrow without customers needing to change trains.
Like the nearby Canary Wharf London Underground station, the Elizabeth line station is constructed in a dock, in this case the North Dock of West India Quay. The station box is 256 metres long, which is greater than the height of the nearby One Canada Square, one of the UK’s tallest buildings.
During construction nearly 100 million litres of water were pumped out of the station box (enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools) and several hundred fish were safely relocated. While 300,000 tonnes of material were being excavated from the station box, a piece of woolly mammoth jawbone was found, as well as a fragment of amber which is estimated to be 55 million years old. Both were passed on to the Natural History Museum.
The station ticket hall is accessed via escalators and lifts with entrances at either end of the building on promenade level. There are more than one hundred thousand square feet of retail and leisure space sitting above the station, including a roof garden. The fully accessible ticket hall will provide step-free access to the Elizabeth line and the station features a total of eight lifts and 21 escalators.
The Elizabeth line will dramatically increase the capacity and resilience of transport services to and from Canary Wharf and the surrounding area, helping support further development and investment in this key business and retail district.
Photo credit: TfL