If you use the tube station at Victoria, then you already are!
An area within one of the busiest parts of the already very busy Victoria station was changed a couple of months ago to test some sample materials that are proposed for use in the deep level Crossrail stations – and thousands of passengers have been marching through the space, probably without even realising that the effects of their hurried foot stomps will be studied by Crossrail’s materials scientists.
As was mentioned earlier this year when I visited the mock-up station in a rural warehouse, some of the floor tiles that they are considering for the stations will need to be tested for durability, slippage etc – and the best way to do that is to put them in a train station and let people walk over them.
Curiously, the way people walk in a train station to say, a shopping centre, differs largely due to how the feet impact when walking at speed so you really do need to test in a comparable environment.
So, a couple of months ago several large blocks of tiles were quietly replaced with potential Crossrail flooring, and they will be there for at least another six months before being lifted and taken away to see what the pounding of commuter feet has done to them.
There are about six different samples including terrazzo, granite and ceramic tiles.
The test zone is the busy sloping corridor between the two ticket halls at Victoria tube station.
Based on the visit to the mock-up station, I suspect the tile sizes being used are smaller than the final versions – simply to fit in with Victoria station. However, as with anything at this early stage – nothing should be inferred too deeply from the tile sizes – or anything else for that matter.
So you have been guinea pigs for the Crossrail team – and you didn’t even know it!