Moorgate Crossrail shaft works

I found time yesterday to have a nosey at various construction projects on my route from Paddington to Aldgate.  The one I was most interested in was the Crossrail works just outside Moorgate London Underground Station.  I was not too optimistic of being able to see too much but was pleasantly surprised and got some decent photos.

The works at Moorgate are part of the Crossrail project to construct a new railway under the centre of London connecting Shenfield in the east to Maidenhead in the west.  The works at Moorgate are part of the new Liverpool Street Crossrail station which will connect to the existing Liverpool Street above ground station to the southeast and to Moorgate London Underground station to the northwest (see graphic below).

New Liverpool Crossrail Station. Click to visit source website

The shaft at Moorgate will be one of the most challenging civil engineering projects in London in recent years.  I have to admit a particular interest as I was in a team that bid for the work – unsuccessfully in this instance – so I know some of the finer details.  The shaft will be approximately 30m x 30m in plan and circa 40m deep.  That is like a 13 storey building downwards!

Not only is the shaft deep but it is surrounded by buildings (some listed) and bounded by Moorgate Station to the west, the Circle Line covered way to the north and the Northern Line beneath Moor Lane to the east.  once the works get going it will be carried out from a temporary platform constructed over the top of the shaft.

I walked around the outside of the site and managed to get a few photos over the low fencing along Moor Lane but the best photos were taken from on the ‘highwalk’.  I was surprised to find that the highwalk bridge across from Moor House remains un-hoarded and being elevated it offered a great vantage point.  I hope it remains so for at least a while longer.

As far as progress goes they appear to have got their site accommodation block completed up where the building that was above the tube station used to be and the temporary support to the listed and other buildings looks to be complete.  Focus now appears to be on removing the last of the existing basement and foundations of the demolished building in the main site area in preparation for the diaphragm walling which will form the outside walls of the shaft.

I will definitely be back to see the works over the coming weeks.  If you are in the area it is worth dropping by and taking a look.  This is proper heavy civil engineering at its best and will be a great showcase of the skills of our industry.  I hope to get a visit to the site too in the fullness of time….

A few photos of my visit are included below.  There are more from this set in an album on my photo sharing website here.

Breaking out the old building basement walls and foundations
Temporary site offices in the background
Temporary support steelwork ensuring stability of adjacent buildings
Slab being prepared for concreteing
Much going on in a relatively small space
Note steel supports to existing buildings
A study in black and white
Existing slabs and walls remain where others have been removed
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