Crossrail scoops prestigious award and judged to have greatest contribution to London

Crossrail, the £14.8bn project which is set to open to Londoners at the end of the year, has been awarded the Greatest Contribution to London Award by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The prestigious award was picked up by the rail network at a ceremony held last night (24 May) due to its commitment to future skills and wider sustainability practices during its construction. The judges welcomed the tremendous positive impact that the project will have on London and the anticipation with which the project is awaited by Londoners. 

Crossrail – to be known as the Elizabeth line, when it begins operating in December 2018 – has included the construction of 10 new stations and 21km of twin bored tunnels under central London. The new service will cut journey times, increase central London's rail capacity by 10% and bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.

This week Crossrail released the first footage of the new Elizabeth Line trains being tested in the tunnels under London, ahead of the December launch. Europe's largest infrastructure project is nearing the end of construction and it will be handed over to Transport for London (TfL) later this year.

The new trains are currently being tested between Abbey Wood and Canary Wharf using the line's new automatic train control system which operates in the central section of the route. The new railway will serve 41 stations and run from Reading and Heathrow in the west through tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Commenting on the award, ICE president, Lord Robert Mair said: “I was delighted to be at the ICE London Civil Engineering Awards to help celebrate the successes in our industry, and see some of the fantastic projects that civil engineers are delivering – projects that really can transform lives. The winners highlight the importance of civil engineers who provide many of the things we need but often take for granted every day – such as clean water, transport and power. I am proud to serve as President during the Institution of Civil Engineers 200th anniversary. Our profession has to think creatively to address the difficulties presented to it, and after seeing the winners tonight, I am confident our profession can help provide solutions to those challenges.”

The awards also saw the Nine Elms South Bank Cable Tunnel win London Infrastructure Project of the Year. The complex project was constructed in close proximity to rail lines and utilities, and carefully designed to complete an underground reinforced concrete junction chamber. 

The public decided the winner of the London People’s Choice Award, awarding it to Enjoy Waltham Forest, which also picked up the community benefit award. The project, by the London Borough of Walthamstow has improved infrastructure and encouraged a modal shift from private car to walking and cycling. 

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