Elizabeth Line to open in London


Concourse and roof at Whitechapel Station completed 2021 by BDP for TfL as part of upgrade for the Elizabeth Line (Courtesy BDP)




The much awaited Elizabeth Line in London is being launched this week and Future Cities Forum is featuring the work of forum member BDP, involved in both Whitechapel and Canary Wharf Stations, as part of the new line.


Services on the Elizabeth Line's new central section will run from Paddington to Abbey Wood through the tunnels beneath London constructed by Crossrail. The new route now appears on the iconic London Tube map as a double purple line rather than a solid line to differentiate the Elizabeth line as a new railway as opposed to a London Underground line.


The Elizabeth Line will initially run 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood, Monday to Saturday. New stations are now in the final stages of preparations ahead of opening to customers including signage and customer information. All stations on the Elizabeth Line will be step-free by the end of this year, with work continuing to provide lifts at Ilford and Romford stations. Stations from Paddington to Woolwich and at Heathrow provide level access from platforms to trains,, and this is reflected on the map.


BDP's work on Whitechapel Station included in the Elizabeth Line, sits within the Whitechapel Market Conservation area. The design of the new station retains the distinctive and historic buildings constructed more than 100 years ago.


BDP states:

'The new and improved Whitechapel station, designed by our transport team, includes a host of upgrades which benefit passenger movement and deliver a more efficient and positive customer experience. The design incorporates reams of natural light, enhancing the historic features and the unique personality of the existing station.

'The main entrance has been reinstated on Whitechapel Road, and a walkway alongside the concourse provides a new public pedestrian route from the entrance on Durward Street to Whitechapel Road.

'Design emphasis has shifted from a below-ground, subterranean solution to an above-ground station bridge, which enhances connectivity and accessibility to Whitechapel Road and the Royal London Hospital.

'Capacity studies undertaken on the existing interchange demonstrated that sufficient space was already available to accommodate an anticipated increase in passenger numbers without the removal of important heritage buildings contributing to the local character of Whitechapel area.'

BDP's Head of transport, Peter Jenkins, explained further about the new architectural language used in the design:


“Whitechapel station is an important transport hub for London and Tower Hamlets, connecting the new Elizabeth line to the District, Hammersmith & City and Overground lines. Part of the strategy was to ensure there was a common architectural language both for the excavated element of the main station construction and also at the platform level but to ensure that there were original, culturally relevant elements to the design.

“We took the decision to retain the existing buildings to preserve the heritage and local character of this important rail interchange and to deliver the most sustainable construction solution. The new station will meet the demands of the passengers and provide a stunning backdrop to travel in and out of Whitechapel.”

In addition, a new green, sedum roof covering the main station concourse delivers both environmental and aesthetic benefits. It was installed to reduce the heat island affect, deliver improved air quality and enhance biodiversity. It also enriches views from neighbouring developments.'


Transport for London (TfL) has also announced this week that it is searching for a new joint venture partner to create a portfolio of three new commercial office developments at Bank, Paddington and Southwark.


Forming part of its wider commercial development programme, TfL is aiming to deliver sustainable commercial office developments that provide exceptional workplaces and positively impact the local community through this new joint venture partnership.


TfL's Head of Transport Planning & Strategy, Christina Calderato will be part of our all-female judging this week for Future Cities Forum's Summer 2022 Awards. For the last 10 years, she has worked across a diverse range of policy areas at TfL and led the team that developed the current Mayor’s Transport Strategy. In her current role, Christina manages teams leading on freight, road danger reduction, air quality and Healthy Streets.




Below: Christina Calderato, Director of Transport Planning & Strategy at Transport for London (Courtesy TfL)

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