Evening Standard: "Canary Wharf Crossrail station reaches milestone"

Link to Evening Standard

"Construction of the £15 billion Crossrail project's underground platform at Canary Wharf station has been finished five months early."


LONDON MAYOR 2012: Transport Manifestos

Link to PDF file

"My plan for transport in London is simple"

1. Cut fares and keep them down.

2. Make it easier for everyone to get around while cutting pollution, with better public transport, less congestion, and safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.

3. Plan now for the transport system that London will need tomorrow.

Link to PDF file

"My 9 point plan for a Greater London"

... ...
8. Reducing Tube delays 30% by 2015. Building Crossrail and orbital rail to link our suburbs. Extending the Bike Hire scheme.

9. Securing a better deal for London from No 10.


IanVisits: Photos from inside the Crossrail Station at Canary Wharf

Link to IanVisits web site

"It may not look it from the outside, but an important part of Crossrail’s Canary Wharf station has already been completed – and five months ahead of schedule.

"In fact it doesn’t really look completed when you have a look at it – but what the builders have done is finish the structural construction in order to hand it over to Crossrail engineers to start fitting it out. Over the next few months they will be laying tracks on the base of the station so that when the tunnel boring machines arrive next year, they can drive through the station and out the other end."


The Guardian: "Hammersmith and Fulham council estates facing demolition have become political battleground"

Link to The Guardian

"Two estates in the west London borough are lined up for the wrecking ball: the larger West Kensington and the smaller Gibbs Green next door. Built in the 1960s and 70s and containing 760 houses and flats, they are earmarked by the council for sale to the property firm Capco for £100m. Their demolition would clear much of the way for the redevelopment of 31 hectares of some of the most expensive real estate in Britain. The Earl's Court project would also see the levelling of the two exhibition centres that share the area's name.

"From the rubble would rise what Hammersmith and Fulham and its adjoining Tory borough Kensington and Chelsea term a 'new urban quarter', based on Sir Terry Farrell's masterplan for 'four villages and high street' – a high-rise, high-density, high-value neighbourhood quite different from the one it would replace."

Evening Standard:

"Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the overall population of the capital will rise by 14.2 per cent to more than nine million by 2020 — more than one million more than currently live here.

"Net migration accounts for only 2.5 per cent of the predicted increase, because, although large numbers of migrants arrive in the capital each year, many then move."


"HS2-NW is a campaign based in the North West which aims to promote the benefits of HS2"

Link to 'HS2 Northwest' web site

"Despite the first phase of HS2 only being built to the West Midlands, the North West will benefit massively from the construction of this new line. A connection from HS2 to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) close to Lichfield will allow for 'classic compatible' trains to operate on the conventional network North of the West Midlands."


Sunday Telegraph: "Radical planning powers are to be unveiled by ministers"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"The planning framework will be published on Tuesday by ministers who want a new age of 'pro-growth' planning.

"High-Speed-Two chief engineer Prof McNaughton, who holds posts at Imperial College, London, and Nottingham University, raised the prospect of a major expansion to Birmingham Airport, which could be rebranded 'London Birmingham' because the travel time to the capital using the high-speed link would be shorter than the time taken to travel from London to Stansted.

"Prof McNaughton also said the HS2 would create a 'second Docklands' in a densely populated area of west London."


Uxbridge Gazette: "Tunnel options tabled at feisty HS2 forum"

Link to web site

"EXTENDING the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) tunnel under Ickenham 'could be looked at', according to officials from the firm which will build the line.

"In the first of HS2 Ltd's 'community forum' meetings with stakeholders in Ruislip, a route expert also admitted that a spur link to Heathrow 'might never happen' and that they 'didn't know where it would go'.

"Residents who would live above the tunnel were reassured they would not be able to feel vibrations as trains passed underneath their properties at up to 200mph, but might suffer two days of disruption as the tunnel was bored."

Link to
"The Stop HS2 bandwagon has continued to roll on in the wake of the scheme's government approval in January, but one Ruislip resident is prepared to consider the possibility that the high-speed route won't be stopped. Reporter James Cracknell watched his presentation to find out more."


Crossrail announces shortlist for main tunnel fit-out

"Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: 
“Tunnel fit-out will be one of the largest contracts to be let by Crossrail, and will create further employment opportunities, as well as providing a welcome boost to regional suppliers. We received significant interest from the rail and construction industry, with a large number of responses received.

The contract will be awarded in early 2013, providing the chosen contractor with sufficient time to undertake detailed design and planning before fit-out work commences in 2014.”
"Construction of Crossrail’s tunnels will get underway next month when the first tunnel boring machine is launched from Royal Oak. By late 2014, the construction of over 21km of twin-bore tunnel, stretching across the capital via central London and Docklands, will have been completed.

"As construction concludes, work will get underway to fit-out the tunnels with the necessary track and overhead power equipment to enable Crossrail trains to operate from 2018. This will include the installation of over 40km of track, overhead electric conductor rails to power the trains as well as ventilation and drainage systems.

"The new Crossrail tunnels will also require over 50 ventilation fans, 40km of walkways, 60 drainage pumps, 30km of fire mains as well as lighting throughout the entire length.

"This major contract will contribute towards the creation of further employment opportunities on Crossrail. Thousands of people will be employed in building Crossrail at the height of construction in 2013-15. Further jobs will be supported through the supply chain in London and in regionally-based manufacturers and suppliers.

"The fit-out works will be carried out within the entire tunnelled section of the Crossrail route between Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead Portals. It is envisaged that the selected contractor will start fit-out simultaneously from both Royal Oak and Plumstead portals."

Prime Minister David Cameron's speech on national infrastructure

"Our railways are crowded and expensive.
"Compared to the French, Dutch and Swiss railways, our fares are 30% higher, our running costs are 40% higher,
and our public subsidy is double theirs."

Link to Number 10 and video

"...The truth is that no government in Britain in living memory has set out a sufficiently comprehensive and ambitious vision of this country’s infrastructure needs.  And by a comprehensive and ambitious vision, I do not just mean a list of projects; I mean an overall system, an integrated set of networks that collectively deliver the economic and social goods.

"As well as this failure of vision, there has also been a failure of financing.  Everybody knows that infrastructure is expensive; one academic assessment puts the bill at £500 billion just to meet our current commitments.  And we cannot hide from the fact that new infrastructure has to be paid for either by those who use it, by government, or by a combination of the two."


Shepherd's Bush Blog: "Imperial West development: controversy and tall buildings"

Looking north-west, towards Old Oak
Link to 'Shephard's Bush Blog'

"Residents on both sides of the Hammersmith &Fulham /Kensington & Chelsea divide continue to be up in arms about the proposed Imperial West development, as the prospect of yet more tall buildings - a 30 storey monster on the next door Dairy Crest site for example - loom into view alongside the 10 storey ones already in place on the White City Opportunity Area. The plans have been dubbed as giving rise to the "Twin Towers" of the Bush.

Central to the plans for Imperial Colleges’ new campus on the site, which it purchased for £28 million, is housing facilities for 600 postgraduate students. Plans have already been approved for this and construction work is underway, with the College predicting they’ll be ready for occupation in ‘Autumn 2012’.


Express & Star: "HS2 phase two announced soon"

Link to Express & Star

"Detailed plans for the second phase of the controversial HS2 rail project will be made public within weeks, a Staffordshire Conservative MP has revealed.

"Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has said plans for the second phase of the line travelling to Manchester would be published in the spring."


Network Rail: Investing in London

Wed. 28 March: Park Royal Partnership: Networking Evening

Link to Park Royal Partnership

"Join PRP's networking evening on 28 March at Unimix House, to find out how to grow your business by thinking out of the box. Working together, we have designed a series of interesting FREE seminars during the Spring of 2012.  They provide insights into how you can transform your business, in preparation for growth in the year ahead. 

"Following our first successful seminar last month, the next seminar is based around finance, and how to find funding to grow your business."

Railnews: "Engineer sets out plan for more trains on HS2"

Link to web site

"Giving the iRail 2012 Distinguished Lecture – ‘Designing High Speed Rail for Britain’ – Professor McNaughton ... said that London was the 'only true metropolis in Europe', and that it was necessary to be able to distribute people to all parts of the metropolitan area.

"This explained the plan for a major interchange station at Old Oak Common, just west of Paddington, which would enable passengers for the west and east of central London to continue their journeys with one simple change to Crossrail, while passengers heading north or south would continue to Euston. [Don't forget north and south at Old Oak!]

"... In support of the Old Oak Common plans, he said that the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham was regarding the development not just as a railway interchange, but as a West London equivalent of the Docklands regeneration area."


Ealing Gazette: "Councillor faces calls to quit over 'misleading' HS2 comments"

Link to Ealing Gazette

"Conservative Councillor Jason Stacey criticised Labour's Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, after a Freedom of Information request showed that Ealing Council had not contacted the Department for Transport (DfT) regarding HS2 despite claiming otherwise.

"But Mr Mahfouz spoke out to defend himself, saying he had written to the DfT twice, and in the past month had requested to meet with Transport Secretary Justine Greening to discuss the impacts of the high speed rail line on Ealing residents. He criticised the Conservatives for politicising the issue."

BBC: "London mayoral candidates clash over transport"

Link to web site and iPlayer

"Transport topped the agenda when the four main candidates to be London mayor clashed at a hustings in the City.

"Conservative Boris Johnson attacked Ken Livingstone for his promised Tube fare cut, but the Labour candidate accused him of "sitting on money" rather than helping hard-pressed commuters.

"Lib Dem Brian Paddick urged 'smarter' use of Heathrow to increase capacity, while the Greens' Jenny Jones suggested a congestion charge around the airport.

"The election will take place on 3 May."


Evening Standard: "All change at King's Cross"

Link to Evening Standard

"John McAslan uses a modest architectural cliché to describe the new concourse he has designed at King’s Cross Station, which opens to the public next Monday, after the Mayor cut the ceremonial red tape [last night]. 'We were trying to stitch together things that were disconnected,' he says, as if he’s just finished darning a sock.

"But the 15-year, £400 million project he has masterminded at King’s Cross Station is more than stitching. It is a fundamental reconstruction of one of the thorniest logistical and architectural problems in London, one that has had an array of architects scratching their heads for a generation."

BBC: " 'Metal moles' begin work below London"

Link to BBC web site

"Tunnelling work is about to begin on a grand scale in London as the £16bn Crossrail project gets set to build 26 miles (42km) of tunnels beneath the capital. 

"Described by Boris Johnson as 'voracious worms nibbling their way under London', the 150-metre long machines will take three years to build a network of tunnels beneath the city's streets."


Architects' Journal: "Arup and Grimshaw land HS2 Euston revamp job"

Click on images for Architects' Journal
- subscription required

"Arup with Grimshaw has been appointed to work on the redevelopment of Euston train station, which will become a new London terminus for High Speed 2 (HS2) rail services.

"The project would see Euston station expand by up to 16 metres westward, to become the service’s new London terminal."

Crossrail tunnels - and a video, thankfully without insipid music

Link to Crossrail video

"In the west, the tunnelling strategy proposed by the winning contractor has been adopted. The Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be launched at Royal Oak Portal to tunnel towards east of Farringdon, creating the running tunnels first, after which the station tunnels will be enlarged around the running tunnels. 

"These TBMs will pass under station sites at PaddingtonBond StreetTottenham Court Road and Farringdon."

Public Accounts Committee reports on reducing costs in the Department for Transport

Link to Parliament web site

"The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes its 71st Report of the Session, on the basis of evidence from the Department for Transport.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said:
"The Department for Transport prepared early for the 2010 Spending Review, identifying areas for budget reductions based on good analysis. But for road users, railway passengers and taxpayers, there are many questions which remain unanswered.
... Another area which concerns us is rail spending. Rail budgets aren’t being reduced as much as other areas, yet passengers still face high fares. The Department needs to understand why the cost of rail travel is so high, and understand better what scope there is for further efficiencies.
It is unacceptable that Network Rail is still not fully transparent or accountable to Parliament or the taxpayer. The Department hands Network Rail over £3 billion each year and underwrites debt of over £25 billion, and yet maintains the fiction that this is a private sector company. The National Audit Office must be allowed full audit access as quickly as possible to this organisation, which is essentially kept afloat through public funds."

Link to The Independent:

Boring Boris begins bold burrowing bid

"The Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Transport today revealed the giant 1,000-tonne tunnel boring machines that will carve Crossrail’s tunnels under the capital.

"Almost 40 years after the new railway was proposed, this marks a significant milestone in the delivery of this major transport infrastructure project, set to add £42 billion to the economy and create thousands of jobs.

"Today, the first of eight enormous machines, each 150 metres long and weighing 1,000 tonnes, will begin their journey to the Royal Oak Portal in west London from where, next week, they will start tunnelling 6.4 km (four miles) east to Farringdon via Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road. The machines are equivalent to 14 London buses end to end with enough force to lift over 2,900 London taxis."
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