With construction on the London 2012 Olympic sites now completed, Crossrail is currently the largest engineering project in Europe. This project will cost around £16 billion and is due to be completed in 2018. When it opens, Crossrail will connect 37 stations in south east England, including Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west with Canary Wharf, Abbey Wood and Shenfield to the east. Each train will be up to 200 metres long and with up to 24 trains an hour running at peak times accommodating 1,500 passengers, it is anticipated that Crossrail will carry around 200 million passengers per year.
Work has just started on the 21 km of new twin-bore tunnels being constructed under central London. The tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are 140m long and weigh over 1,000 tonnes and will weave their way between existing underground lines, sewers, utilities and building foundations at up to 40m deep. Burdens are already supplying most of these operating sites, including Paddington where the first of the TBMs is located.
As a member of the Major Projects South East team, Crossrail is rapidly becoming my full time job! A great deal of work will be required by everyone though, but at least Burdens are well placed at the centre of activity to take advantage of all the business opportunities the project presents. Burdens have already secured £2.5m of sales and have a specialist Crossrail team comprising Martin Trivess-Smith and myself, supported by Russell Fleetwood and the Picketts Lock and Tadley Key Accounts sales offices.
Delivering products to all Crossrail sites is rather challenging as the work is mainly in the congested central London area and obviously safety to Crossrail is paramount. Our lorries need to be booked in, drivers have to undergo a training induction at Crossrail HQ and most importantly each lorry has to comply with a 15 point safety check-list prior to each delivery.
We have used this unique logistics situation to our advantage and have just agreed to supply all utility products to Skanska Utilities via our Picketts Lock depot on our ‘compliant’ lorry fleet. This partnership is an example how Burdens excels in customer service Crossrail TBM tunnelling machine and problem solving and will result in securing future business.
By Elaina Tomalin, Major Projects South East