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Inside the new Crossrail Canary Wharf Station


One of the attractions of attending the preview for the new Tunnel: The archaeology of Crossrail exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands was that it offered a possibility for some people to have a look inside the new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station. The upper 3 floors of the station including retail, roof garden and restaurants have been open since 2015, however the lower sections are still being fitted out and access is limited to the occasional special event or open day.

The station is one of the most unusual in London because it has been created by sinking a 250 metre-long station box into waters of West India Quay dock. The station facilities are 18 metres below water level which has presented a number of challenges.  


Arriving in the lower levels, the first surprise is the size of the station ticket hall which will be accessed via eight long-rise escalators from the promenade level entrances at either end of the building.


The concourse is 185 metres long and is very similar in design to the main Canary Wharf station with large open spaces.


The platforms are even longer at 241 metres long and will provide plenty of space to passengers.


The platforms are still being worked upon, but a sneak preview of the track and tunnel gives some idea of the scale.


One interesting fact is the station footprint which at 256m long is slightly longer than the height of One Canada Square which stands over the station.


Trains running on the Elizabeth Line will start from the new Canary Wharf station in December 2018. Trains will terminate at Paddington in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.

When the route fully opens in December 2019, a train every five minutes at peak time will allow passengers to travel all the way through to Paddington, Heathrow or Reading in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.

It is important to realise that these types of engineering undertakings are once in a lifetime and Crossrail will be considered to one of the great engineering achievements of the early 21st century. I have written posts about the nearby Thames Tunnel and Blackwall Tunnel which were considered wonders of their time.

The Opening of Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf – May 2015


Anyone travelling into Canary Wharf on the Docklands Light Railway over the last two years can hardly have missed the construction of the distinctive Crossrail Station. Over the May Bank holiday, part of the structure called Crossrail Place was opened to the public and offered a number of surprises.


The main surprise was a large exotic roof garden in the top level which is located  underneath of the distinctive latticed timber roof. The designers have tried to draw on the area’s heritage planting plants that are native to countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company, which used to unloaded their cargo in the area where the station now sits.


Another surprise is the size of the structure, it has seven levels with a number of shops, cinema, restaurants and fitness facilities.


Although keen to draw on the area’s heritage, the almost space age design fits into the general modern design of Canary Wharf itself, however there is a couple of memorials that remind us these modern developments are only possible because of the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the Two World Wars of the twentieth century.


With considerable building work on the Canary Wharf estate, there will be a number of changes in the next few years that will transform the area even more. The opening of the Crossrail network in 2018 will make the area an even more attractive location to work and live.


What effects this will have on the Isle of Dogs is open to question, but in the meantime it does provide more facilities for Islanders to enjoy.