It’s ‘all change’ at Whitechapel as work gets on track for Crossrail

PUBLISHED: 17:08 01 May 2013 | UPDATED: 20:06 01 May 2013

Construction shaft to platforms

Construction shaft to platforms

John Zammit

The £16 billion Crossrail construction now dominating the streets of London’s East End will have a temporary hiccup for commuters using the Underground early next year.

Cambridge Heath Rd shaft Cambridge Heath Rd shaft

The Victorian entrance to Whitechapel station is being closed temporarily to make way for the construction of a new concourse, it has been revealed this week.

Underground and Overground passengers will have to use a temporary entrance in tucked away in Derward Street a block away, walking through a revamped Court Street which is getting a total make-over before then.

The cramped Victorian entrance along Whitechapel Road has a preservation order slapped on it.

So it is planned to be reopened with a new forecourt, a huge concourse stretching back to Durward Street and much a bigger ticket hall with step-free interchanges between Crossrail, the Hammersmith & City and District lines and the recently-extended East London line now part of the Overground.

Court St improvements, architect's impression Court St improvements, architect's impression

Meanwhile, the disruption has already started in the streets around Whitechapel. Drivers heading north into Vallance Road come up against a ‘road closed’ notice at the junction with Old Montague Street with its ‘no entry’ sign—and there’s no advance warning or signposted diversions.

Crossrail’s Bill Tucker pledged: “We are working to minimise disruption—we’re ‘on track’ for a new, world-class station and better transport links for Whitechapel.”

The rail operator will be running 24 trains an hour in each direction between Whitechapel and Paddington during peak times when London’s new ‘super tube’ opens in 2018.

You’ll be able to get to Heathrow Airport in 39 minutes without changing trains, or Canary Wharf in under three minutes. Other direct links from Whitechapel include the City and West End, Stratford, Ilford, Romford, Shenfield, Woolwich, Abbey Wood in Kent and Maidenhead in Berkshire.

Whitechapel is to be east London’s major rail interchange, rivalling Stratford.

Crossrail will be linked to the Hammersmith & City, the District to Upminster, Ealing Broadway, Richmond and Wimbledon and the Overground to Shoreditch, Highbury, New Cross and Croydon.

All this—and just five years to wait for the first Crossrail train to arrive at the platform deep below the Whitechapel Road.

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