Crossrail has released a set of photos showing the critical work to fit out the tunnels to turn them into the Elizabeth line operational railway.

Cable management systems installed in Stepney Green eastbound cavern

Although much of the recent focus has been on building the tunnels and stations, they are blank canvases that need to have all the power supply and signalling systems applied to them.

Cable management systems installed in Crossrail tunnel

A team of engineers is now working around the clock to install the 2 x 25kV overhead traction power system.Each Elizabeth line train will draw power in the tunnels from the rigid overhead catenary system’s aluminium alloy conductor bar which houses copper contact wire. These bars are currently being installed in 10 metre sections.

The main power supply in the tunnels under central London will come from two new bulk supply points and their associated autotransformer feeder stations which are being built at each end of the new railway along with autotransformer sites in east and southeast London.

High voltage masts installed at Plumstead

Control room being inspected prior to commissioning

In total, over 1,500km of cable will be used to supply power, lighting and ventilation systems to the new railway.

Applying the International Standard for Measuring Things, that’s the equivalent of 100,000 double-decker buses.

OHLE installed in Thames Tunnel

Installing OHLE in the Connaught Tunnel

Installing OHLE in the Thames Tunnel

Installing OHLE in the Connaught Tunnel

OHLE brackets and cable trays installed in entrance to Thames Tunnel

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4 comments
  1. Jonathan Thomas says:

    Does anyone know why they opted for overhead lines instead of a third rail system like the Tube?

    • Ian Visits says:

      You cant use 3rd rail for mainline trains is largely obsolete as a technology, with high power loss at speed.

      As the Elizabeth Line also runs over National Rail tracks it makes sense to use their standard.

    • Dan Tonks says:

      Additionally, they aren’t allowed. Third rail may now only be used on extensions of existing systems.

  2. Martin says:

    How long would those cables be in single-decker bus lengths? 🙂

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