Sheet pile capping beam construction continues alongside newly aligned London-bound North Kent Line using FASTFORM capping beam system

Case Study: Abbey Wood Crossrail

Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty Crossrail is a 118km (73 mile) railway line being developed for London and the south east. It is one of the largest railway and infrastructure construction projects undertaken in the UK. Featuring 21km (130miles) of new twin tunnels under central London, the new railway will link 40 stations between Reading and Heathrow in the west, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Network Rail is building a new station and two miles of new track in the Abbey Wood area as part of the Crossrail programme, with Ainsworth Civils providing civil engineering works on this project.

Abbey Wood Station is undergoing a complete rebuild to facilitate the new Crossrail services. The new two-level station will provide a larger concourse and two new 'island' platforms. Crossrail aims to add up to 12 extra trains an hour, providing a high frequency commuter service linking Abbey Wood with central London. This development is not only a boost to regeneration and investment in the Abbey Wood area, but is the single biggest addition to the local rail network since the North Kent line was built in 1849.

As part of the station rebuild, the existing North Kent lines are being moved southwards to make space within the railway corridor for the two new Crossrail tracks. Two existing footbridges are being replaced to span the new four-track railway and rise above the overhead electric wires that will be used to power the Crossrail trains.

Ainsworth Civils' involvement covers the following areas

  • New longer and wider platforms with better facilities to accommodate bigger trains catering for increased demand
  • Assorted architecturally finished reinforced concrete support walls up to 6m high for the new station building substructure
  • Reinforced concrete bases, ramps and walls for larger and higher footbridges with disabled access to replace the existing bridges and enable the new Crossrail tracks and overhead lines to be installed
  • New architecturally finished concrete 11m lift shafts built for the new station building, allowing better and easier lift access to the station
  • Over 1.5km of reinforced concrete bases and walls constructed to support the newly positioned North Kent line and new Crossrail train lines
  • 300m of reinforced concrete capping beams constructed for the installation of 3m high noise protection screens to protect local residents from the noise of the new railway in close proximity to their houses
  • Existing bridge structures encased with reinforced concrete and refurbished to protect them from increased train loads and overhead lines

Throughout this project, Ainsworth Civils has not only maintained a flawless health and safety record with no reportable accidents, but also helped deliver the first major milestone KD26 as the first section of dedicated Crossrail rail track to be installed anywhere along the route in May 2015.

Delivering this major milestone effectively turned around a difficult situation of projected schedule delays, safeguarding the CRL tunnel fit out schedule. The achievement reflected extremely well on the whole project organisation and was a brilliant success for the National Rail CRL programme.

Congratulations on delivering the largest concrete pour to date on the project of 270m³. This marks a significant milestone for the portal area works, which continue to be delivered safely and to programme. Thank you for your continuing efforts.
Simon Swaby, TMICE EngTech Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK

New station reinforced concrete substructure progress after working all through the Christmas period  New station south concourse support wall ready for concrete pour using PERI formwork system  BEFORE: 7am Sunday rail possession works begin; north pilecaps ready for steel support columns and access towers to be installed AFTER: 7pm access towers complete and steel columns ready for concrete to be poured
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