FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Open House 2014: Canary Wharf Crossrail

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on September 20, 2014

The guide book for Open House London always offers far more than you can possibly choose, but the opportunity to visit the construction site at Canary Wharf Crossrail Station seemed like one place not to miss.

Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, as seen from Balfron Tower

Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, as seen from Balfron Tower

The construction of the Crossrail station at Canary Wharf has been a remarkable undertaking from the outset. It has been built in a reclaimed dock from which 98m litres of water were removed to facilitate the construction. To give an indication of scale, this would have filled 40 Olympic swimming pools.

The station is still four years away from its first train but the public were allowed in to explore the construction site this weekend, following a self guided walk that took in the platform level, ticket hall, retail areas and roof gardens. It looks impressive from the first moment that you enter the futuristic elevated walkway, which looks like the docking passage to a newly arrived space ship!

The futuristic elevated walkway into the station

The futuristic elevated walkway into the station

The roof gardens are in the early stages of preparation and planting, but this is enough to make it clear that this is going to be a fantastic space when it is finally completed.

The spaciousness of the six storey structure was a real surprise and it is clearly no idle boast that the site is large enough to accomodate One Canada Square on its side. In the morning peak the station should see around 32,120 passengers pass through, so the space will certainly be needed!

The roof gardens

The roof gardens

At the moment the escalators are awaiting their fitting out, so we descended through the levels of the site using a series of wooden staircases – passing from the roof down to the ticket hall (with a ceiling 10 metres below water level) before eventually reaching platform level six storeys down. It was at this stage that it was hardest to visualise the final appearance because the space that the tracks will fill was hidden from view behind hoardings.

Platform level

Platform level

It will be quite fascinating to go back in 2018 to see the station when it is operational and to fully appreciate the final results of the fit out.


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