Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for X rail or Crossrail or Elizabeth line!

The theme for my A-Z posts this year is London Underground Stations.  I've chosen a station for each letter and at the end of each post I've listed the other stations for that letter with their Wikipedia entries.  I've tried to visit each station and take my own photos.

Well here's the real challenge.  What do you write about when you've chosen underground stations and there is no X station?  Be prepared for some waffle.

X is also a cross so I thought great, I can write about Crossrail.  Crossrail is an important development to our transport system that is particularly relevant to me so I was all set.  Then in February this year it was announced that this new line would be known as The Elizabeth Line in honour of the Queen.

Well I'm still writing about Crossrail!  (Even if they have already started to rebrand everything.)

My nearest station is Forest Gate.  It was served by a mainline service which runs a suburban service from Liverpool Street to Shenfield and intercity services out to Essex and the South East north of the Thames.  The suburban services were recently taken over by Tranport for London and are currently known as TFL Rail. (Transport for London is the Authority responsible for transport within Greater London.)

To get across London now we have to change for underground services either at Stratford, or Liverpool Street.  The new Crossrail Elizabeth line will run from Shenfield, through Forest Gate and on to places such as Heathrow Airport and Reading to the West of London.  The promised reduction in journey times and the improvements to Forest Gate station will be worth the current upheaval.

Current entrance is on far side of tracks

The front of the building is being modified to include lifts.

Temporary stairs in place to access platforms.
This has been a massive engineering project as although in some stretches (like our suburban service) existing lines can be used, the section across London has had to be tunnelled and created.  Work has been going on 24/7 and is due to be completed on time and within budget.  8 huge tunnelling machines were used and, as is tradition these were named: Elizabeth and Victoria, Phyllis and Ada, Sophia and Mary and finally Jessica and Ellie.  Click on the link to see how these names were chosen if you like useless bits of information.  Told you I'd be waffling.  It's what I do best.


  1. Well done. I was convinced you would have to resort to Charing x.

  2. I'm impressed!! Ingenious indeed! Only two more to go. I'm going to miss these!

  3. You're not the only one who waffled on the letter "X." I mean, I used X-Ray Technician. I don't even think that's a real thing.

  4. I think X is the hardest of all letters!

  5. What a creative way to handle "X" and great photos! I love your transportation system, even though as a visitor it takes a little time to get the hang of it. I hope you've enjoyed the A to Z challenge.

  6. I am here 2 Years later and Forest Gate is almost done with 3 new lifts installed and 2 new starecases

  7. TFL Rail will soon take over Heathrow Connect with some new class 345 trains terminating at Hayes & Harlington from London Paddington and class 360 temporarily used for the full service to Heathrow Terminal 4


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