Of all the Crossrail stations, few have as many superlatives as Liverpool Street – the deepest, the widest platforms, the longest, the one that links two tube stations, the one that was part built before Crossrail was even authorised.

When it opens, Liverpool Street be unique on the new line, in that you will be able to walk in one tube station and back out of another — Moorgate and Liverpool Street, creating a link deep underground between the Northern and Central lines, although in practical terms, Bank will still be the easier interchange between those two lines.

It also makes use of a deep shaft that was built even before Crossrail was given official permission. Although Crossrail was not given the formal go-ahead until 2007, back in 1999 an office block next to Moorgate station was given planning permission, and one of the conditions was that it included a 130 feet deep ventilation shaft that could be used by Crossrail – if it was built.

Fortunately, when it was authorised, Crossrail’s route was pretty much as expected, and the deep ventilation shaft has now come into use – being fitted out by Crossrail to provide cooling to the running tunnels deep underground.

That wasn’t the only shaft dug down for Crossrail at this site though — as a gigantic hexagonal one was built nearby to house the new connections to the Northern line platforms. Architecturally, the design of the connection will be a mix of human scale tunnels, and large unexpected voids, making use of the size of the shaft to create huge open areas. You can still see the hexagonal alignment of the shaft in the passenger areas, and that’s just one small fraction of the space available.

As with most underground stations, passengers see just the proverbial tip of the iceberg, with a lot more space given over to back-of-house operations, power, mechanical, staff, fire escapes and ventilation.

Something else that wont be seen, is a large network of ground heat pumps that were included into the structure of the Moorgate end of the new station which will extract heat from the clay under London and use it to heat the future offices that will eventually be built over the new Moorgate station entrances.

Using heat from tube trains to heat office workers.

Although people will be able to go into the Elizabeth line platforms from Moorgate, that the station is called Liverpool Street is a polite necessity, as structurally, the bulk of the station is on the Moorgate half, and the staff control rooms will also be in the Moorgate end.

Here at the Moorgate end, escalators will take people down to another feature that’s unique to this particular station — a triple corridor. All the other central London stations will have two corridors – for the train platforms, but here at Liverpool Street, a third huge passenger corridor runs the entire length of the station linking Moorgate with Liverpool Street.

And for the commercially minded – notice the specially curved advertising screens designed especially for the organically curved walls that will be such a striking feature of the stations.

The platforms themselves while looking identical to the other wide central London platforms for the Elizabeth line, are in fact noticeably a bit wider as befits its location next to a major rail terminus.

Liverpool Street station is also the second-deepest point on the Crossrail project – the deepest being a short tunnel ride away, half way towards Farringdon. To reduce energy consumption, as with existing tube tunnels, they dip down as trains leave, using gravity to assist the acceleration, and rise back up — using gravity to slow the trains and reduce brake wear.

The Liverpool Street end of Liverpool Street station also features another unique feature – inclined lifts.

Rather than hiding the accessibility lifts out of the way or down lonely corridors, the lifts will ride alongside the escalators — and while obviously offering a better experience for people using them, are frankly, quite likely to be used by most people at least once just for the thrill.

The Liverpool Street end is also notable for the ceiling decoration of the ticket hall, which is designed to aesthetically deal with the fairly low ceiling, and act as acoustic baffles to reduce noise. They are also very similar in design to the pin-stripes of office suits.

Around the corner from the passenger entrance is a service entrance which supports more emergency escapes, ventilation and electrical fittings. More of the hidden ice-berg of the scale of engineering needed for a modern railway station.

Overall, the impression is of a station that is visibly closer to opening than some of the other stations on Crossrail, which is probably why there’s hardly been any news in the news about Liverpool Street — it’s less delayed than the rest of the line.

Which is good thing for the office workers as they plan to start pulling back some of the surface hoardings soon to release long since blocked off pavements back to public use.

It’ll take longer for the station to be opened, but as with the rest of the line, when it does eventually arrive, it’s going to be eye opening for people who haven’t see what’s being built down there.

Some more photos:

Notice the metal floor plate – to remove the ventilation systems for maintenance in the future.

Connection tunnel to the Northern line

Behind the hoardings at Liverpool Street.

Artwork – showing the placement of bodies found in the Bedlam burial site.

Liverpool Street station ticket hall

Escalators, and the inclined lift to the right side.

New – emergency downlighters in hanging signs

Cross passage at the platform level

Wayfinding

Moor House ventilation grills

Trains under test in the tunnels.

The ground heat pump system connections ready for the future office block.

Inside the Moorgate shaft – connection to Northern line

 

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26 comments on “Behind the scenes at Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station
  1. Mike Mundy says:

    Very interesting thank you.
    I wonder what Oyster will do if I tap in at Liverpool St., walk the connecting tunnel and tap out at Moorgate?!

    • TfL can’t tell what reader or line you use, only the station. You’ll be charged a Z1 fare as if you use the Circle line.

    • Si says:

      It would be the same as tapping in and tapping out at any other station.

      https://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/same-station-continuation-exits/
      Explains it all: in and out inside 2 minutes and it takes off a maximum fare, refunding it if you tap in at any station within 45 minutes. Between 2 and 30 minutes inside the station and it will charge the cheapest fare from that station. Over 30 minutes inside the station and it charges you 2 maximum fares.

      Of course, this is assuming that you don’t trigger an OSI that connects your walk through the station to part of a journey.

    • Steve Bater says:

      TfL can track your entire journey. Their computer knows what time you tap in and what gate you go through and what type of ticket you have if it’s an Oystercard. Then your journey is tracked and your arrival time at your next Station is recorded when you tap out and again it shows the exact gate you go through and timed to the actual second. Then if you continue by bus it records the route number and time you tap in and again when you tap out. A few weeks ago on Channel 5 there was a 4 part series about fare dodgers and it showed how the RPI’s look at their computer screens all day to see if any journey looks suspicious and with the CCTV they wait at certain stations for their suspect to arrive and they know the exact time the person arrives and the exact gate the person uses. Everyone is being watched and monitored on TfL all day and night.

  2. CityLover says:

    Can’t you walk from Farringdon Station to Barbican or Bond Street to TCR?

    • Melvyn says:

      I recently visited both Farringdon Station Crossrail entrances and noticed the Smithfield entrance lift has Elizabeth Line and Barbican indicating that it will provide step free access to Barbican Station and thus link Farringdon and Barbican Stations together.

    • ijmad says:

      Isn’t there a lift-only link from the far western end of Barbican’s platforms down in to the Elizabeth Line ticket hall?

      Most people will go outside though.

  3. Thomas Ingram says:

    Cheers, Ian. The curved walls are sumptuous.

  4. James Miller says:

    Why can’t I get the pictures on my computer?

    But I can on my phone!

  5. Sam says:

    I thought you could also walk from Farringdon to Barbican?

  6. Melvyn says:

    When I logged on earlier today with my iPad I had to tap photos to get them to load and then enter backspace to return to article. Photos are now showing correctly .

    Despite all this investment I believe the westbound Circle/ Hammersmith and City Line platform and Central line at Liverpool Street Station won’t have step free lift access despite this being a major mainline station . While at Moorgate Station the lift serving the Northern Line doesn’t serve the Great Northern platforms despite them being directly above the Northern Line thus the lift passes by without stopping. The irony is these services are likely to be transferred to TFL when the TSGN franchise is broken up !

    These photos still show how impressive the new Station will be and. knit from visiting Greenford Station incline lifts have a certain special appeal of novelty. In fact I once stayed at a hotel abroad that had a incline lift that moved sideways raising the novelty of saying “ Bridge please !”.

    I do wonder whether this Station should have included travalators like at Waterloo for if you arrive on wrong end of Elizabeth Line train it might be easier to change to circle line to reach Station at opposite end of platform!

    • Mark says:

      Hi Melvyn, the associated tunnels for the northern line lift at Moorgate squeezes over the Crossrail EB tunnel and then dive under the northern line NB tunnel, and then the lift shaft squeezes between the NB and SB platform – there is no room for it to fit between the Network Rail platforms. The associated staircase was constructed right below an escalator (less than 0.5m below) – one of the most complex tunnelling works on CRL. Without doing a ‘Bank station upgrade’ on Moorgate northern line and network rail platforms, there was no other way to provide step free access. It would have been built if it was physically possible.

      Also note Crossrail Liverpool Street should really called Moorgate (as that is where the Crossrail platforms operate from) whilst there is an ‘access route through’ to Liverpool Street LU station. The central line platforms at Liverpool Street are a bit far from all the tunnelling works. There will be step free access for the met line WB at Moorgate. Whilst not perfect it will be a lot better!

  7. Mark Harwood says:

    Hmmm ground source heat pumps for heating of the office building above.

    Why not for cooling of the station below. In the summer time gshp work as heat dumps for Aircon systems, you’d think as the biggest underground builder this would be obvious why this hasn’t been add to existing stations is beyond me.

    • ianvisits says:

      Sucking heat out of the soil in the winter months creates capacity for the soil to absorb heat from the tube in the summer months, hence cooling the tube.

  8. MilesT says:

    There really ought to be a pink validator somewhere in the middle of the walking tunnels so that people walking through the extended station tunnels don’t get charged for a tube journey they didn’t actually make.

  9. “Although Crossrail was not given the formal go-ahead until 2007, back in 1999 an office block next to Moorgate station was given planning permission, and one of the conditions was that it included a 130 feet deep ventilation shaft that could be used by Crossrail – if it was built. Fortunately, when it was authorised”

    Fifty years ago, when the Fleet Line was still being planned, something similar happened with one of the blocks near Fenchurch St – the basement was massive, to house a station. Sadly the Jubilee Line was built to a different alignment and it – plus the similar provision at ground floor at Bush Lane House on Cannon St – remained unused.

  10. Barbara Hinge says:

    I don’t understand why Farringdon-Barbican doesn’t count.

    Could someone please explain?

  11. Barbara Hinge says:

    So it will not be possible to get from Farringdon Thameslink to Moorgate Northern line without going outside?

    • ianvisits says:

      Just take either the Elizabeth line or Met/Circle/Hammersmith line trains — they all run between those two stations.

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