TfL has confirmed what was suspected earlier, and that the Bakerloo Line wont be stopping at Paddington Station from April until the middle of August – because a new tunnel is being dug to link it to Crossrail.
The purpose of the shut-down is to construct a new tunnel linking the Bakerloo line to the Elizabeth line station being constructed just outside the mainline station.
The new pedestrian link will incorporate escalators, lifts, stairs and new passageways and will aim to reduce the number of people who cross the concourse of the mainline station to get between the two services.
Crossrail estimate that 11.5 million passengers would use this connection annually.
As it happens, the tunnel being built is not the one they planned originally. That was quite shallow under the ground, and was abandoned due to concerns about subsidance. The new tunnel runs much deeper, and a special order was needed to amend the original permissions for the new layout.
Currently around 165,000 customers use Paddington Tube station daily – with 82,000 people using the Bakerloo line. When TfL-run Crossrail arrives from 2018, the number of customers using TfL services at Paddington is expected to be 248,000.
TfL engineers will also take the opportunity to carry out a major renewal of both of the heavily-used escalators serving the Bakerloo line.
The original report into the new Crossrail tunnel said that the escalators wouldn’t be closed, but there was concern about ground movement during construction.
It seems that both sides have decided to alleviate the ground movement concerns, by taking the opportunity to replace the escalators at the same time.
Some photos from the construction site can be found @BakerlooLink
Incidentally, the controversial, and temporarily cancelled Paddington Place skyscraper development would have included a new entrance to the Bakerloo Line as well, replacing the tiny staircase that currently exists just outside Paddington Station.
That’ll have to wait for whatever it is will replace the “skinny shard”.