The last of the Crossrail stations to be shown off to the public opened its doors today, giving visitors a sneak preview of what the Elizabeth line station will look like when it opens in December.

As with many of the Crossrail stations, this is a station with two entrances at each end of the platforms, one linking with the existing Central/Northern line platforms, and another at Dean Street which is a stand-alone entrance.

As a stand-alone entrance, it is also not advertised as London Underground, but as the Elizabeth line.

The ticket hall on entry is notable for one thing that’s missing — no ticket office to sell tickets. There are banks of ticket machines for those who need them, but the main feature are the high glass walls to bring loads of light down the escalators, and the metal lampshades which are a feature of this end of the station.

Oh, and the dot-matrix design, which is actually a map of the area, and if you stand back, you can start to make out the streets around Soho on there.

The western ticket hall is dark and cinematic, reflecting the nocturnal economies that characterise the area. At this site, black is the colour of choice for the glass and stainless steel inside the station.

Here people descend down one of the longest escalators on the London Underground. The escalators are notable for the strip lighting that now runs above the shoe-polish brushes, and there will also be uplighting in the middle of the escalators. The escalator sides which normally have panels for adverts will be a single “ribbon” running from the top to bottom for super-long adverts instead.

Down at the platform levels, for the first time, it was possible to see the sheer scale of the Crossrail project as never before, as the entire length of the platform was opened up. Your correspondent, who has been down here several times still managed to gasp slightly at the size of the platforms, now that they’ve been largely cleaned of construction kit. When the public comes down, it’s going to be jaw-dropping.

Also on show for the first time, although we knew about the design, was the way the signage would work on the platforms. The intention to have just a few poke out signs showing ways out, and then above each of the doors will be the next-train indicators. No more ducking down to see a distant display screen that’s badly obscured by a way out sign in front of it.

Digital advertising panels are in the glass wall, there are no adverts on the far side of the tracks, as there are on the Jubilee line.

If you fancy swinging off the security camera poles, they’ve been tested to carry a very heavy person, although with that many cameras down here, you’ll be clearly visible on camera for the court case later.

The connection tunnel to the Northern line switches from the Crossrail curves to the London Underground preference for boxes, as it creates a visual signal that you’re passing from one line to the next.

Here, at the Centrepoint end of the station, the black tiles above have been replaced with red in recognition of the area’s culture – it symbolizes the red curtain inside the theatres.

One this visit was also a chance to see something that shouldn’t ever be seen again — the emergency lighting in the uplighters at work. The side panels will come on if they’re needed, but normally will be blank frosted glass. The little stick out ears on the uplighters (and along the platforms) are radio antennas for the communications network.

That’s probably the last of the station previews being run by Crossrail as it hands over to the Elizabeth line, but look out for one more chance to see the line before it opens to the public, which should be in a few months time.

Some more photos:


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  1. Melvyn says:

    The opening of the new Northern Line exit was truly impressive with the size of the subways compared to those built for Victoria Line and these photos show how big some of the subways will be once open full length.

    The item mentions how the Crossrail entrance doesn’t have a booking office but with trains running as far as Reading and if TFL takes over more lines then buying long distance tickets will become for widespread so should booking office be included?

    The item mentions how the new entrance only has Elizabeth Line sign but how long before those in the know use this entrance to access tube especially in cold wet and snowy days !

  2. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Very impressive. Its like stepping into a brand new underground world. Can’t wait for this new Elizabeth Line station to open. Which means Tottenham Court Road will be packed with millions of passengers coming to & from Shenfield, Abbey Wood, Stratford, Reading, Heathrow Terminal 4, Heathrow Terminal 5, Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 and Canary Wharf. And elsewhere where they interchanged from other trains and stations and used the Elizabeth Line to get off at Tottenham Court Road.

  3. Martin Phillp says:

    Lookig at the ticket office picture, there are TVM’s which are already in use on London Overground, which sell NR tickets in addition to TfL products.

  4. David says:

    Has anyone tested the speaker system? with all the curved wall announcements could be horrendously echoing

    • Ian Visits says:

      As I noted, the walls are acoustic dampners, and do you really think they’d get this far along the fit out without running at least a few tests?

  5. CityLover says:

    wow, just wow

  6. Paul says:

    Those silver domes (with what I presume are cctv cameras?) look really swish. I’ve noticed they’re consistent amongst all the stations.

  7. Chris Rogers says:

    Ian, how was this visit advertised? I’ve never seen any such events outside London open house…

    • Ian Visits says:

      I highlighted the tours in an article a few months ago, and anyone who signed up for one would have received emails directly from Crossrail.

  8. Chris Rogers says:

    Further to that; let’s hope the line turns out to be more effective aesthetically than the Jubilee extensions, whose promise of clip-on panels to the iron tunnel linings was abandoned after a few desultory efforts at e.g. London Bridge. In addition, it was 20 years ago that the move toward a dreary monochrome palette of black, grey and white began – justify it as ‘relating to the night-time economy etc’ but it’s really to save money on cleaning and finishes. Shame.

    Also are we really saying there will be no dot matrix indicators perpendicular to the rails/platform, so that if you look along it you can’t see when the next train is? Seems odd.

  9. Great report. I went on the Behind the hoardings at Whitechapel Elizabeth line station last weekend. While I don’t have much to add, I should pull together my notes on what is unique about that site/project.

  10. Steve says:

    Thank you for the report.

    I can’t spot the passenger toilets promised by Crossrail on any of your pictures.

    Could you see evidence of them during your tour?

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