On Wednesday, Kiara Long attended The Women in Property’s From Crossrail to the Elizabeth Line event.

Here are just some of the fascinating facts Kiara learned about the Crossrail:

  1. The aim is to run one train every 5 minutes in each direction.
  2. On average, journey times will be reduced by 15 minutes.
  3. No new stations have been built in areas where there is not an existing station to feed into. The new stations have been designed to reflect the local environment.
  4. Platforms are typically 50 metres longer than the current trains to allow for additional capacity going forward as use increases.
  5. 98% of the earth excavated in the building of the tunnels has been repurposed and used to create Wallasea Bird Island.
  6. An archaeologist was employed by the project to manage the artefacts found during the project. Part of a mammoth jaw was found on the Isle of Dogs and numerous skeletons were unearthed at the site of the old Bedlam Hospital.
  7. The tunnels were created using state of the art Tunnel Boring Machines (larger than those used by Elon Musk during construction of tunnels underneath LA). The TBMs are all named after influential women. Due to the cost of lowering the TBM into the tunnel and out again after completion is considerable and as such 2 of them have been left buried in the system.


  • Phyllis after Phyllis Pearsall who created the London A-Z.
  • Ada after Ada Lovelace who was one of the earliest computer scientists.
  • Victoria after Queen Victoria
  • Elizabeth after Queen Elizabeth II
  • Mary after the wife of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Sophia after the wife of Marc Isambard Brunel
  • Jessica and Ellie – named by the students of a primary school in Stepney Green


Only 9% of engineers are women but this is improving and Crossrail have made efforts to attract apprentices to the scheme and have achieved significantly more than the 9% average.

Overall, it seems as though the scheme is designed to integrate into the current structure and really improve what is already in place for commuters whilst remaining in keeping with the local area and being mindful of the eco footprint. The scheme is innovative (TBMs) and newly designed drilling machines which was the brain-child of one of the apprentices.