The one millionth tonne of earth has left Crossrail’s tunnel entrance at Westbourne Park in west London and sent by rail to a new nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex.
Over the past 15 months, more than 860 train loads of excavated material have been transported to Northfleet in Kent by GB Railfreight. The material is then transferred to ship and transported to Wallasea Island.
The earth is being used to create a new Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) wetland on Wallasea Island. A total of 4.5 million tonnes of excavated material from Crossrail’s new tunnels and stations will be used.
Western tunnels contractor BFK (BAM / Ferrovial / Kier JV) appointed GB Railfreight in February 2012 to transport excavated material from Royal Oak to Northfleet. The first trainload of excavated material from Crossrail’s western tunnels departed for Northfleet in May 2012.
Crossrail’s western tunnels project manager, Andy Alder, said: “One million tonnes of excavated material has now been transported from Crossrail’s western tunnels by rail removing thousands of lorry journeys from London’s busy streets. Crossrail will not only deliver a new railway for London and the southeast but will leave the legacy of a new nature reserve that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
Crossrail will excavate about six million tonnes of material during the construction of stations and its 21km (13 miles) of twin-bore tunnels. Close to 100% of the excavated material is expected to be clean, uncontaminated and reusable elsewhere.