Crossrail Paddington Station


Costain Skanska JV is the Principal Contractor working for Crossrail to construct one of the new underground Crossrail stations in Paddington.

With such interest in this new infrastructure project from all over the UK, Industry Image spoke to Costain Skanska JV to find out what challenges they have faced working on such a high-profile project, and how the Scheme has helped minimise inconvenience to the thousands of people who pass through Paddington station each day.

Please can you describe the project you are working on?

Costain Skanska JV is the Principal Contractor working for Crossrail to construct one of the new underground Crossrail stations in Paddington.

Paddington will become the first underground station along the Crossrail route when travelling east from the west including Heathrow Airport. The new underground station when complete will tie into the existing Network Rail mainline station and the existing London Underground system. The new station will be located beneath Eastbourne Terrace which runs parallel to Brunel's 1850s station. The new station when operational will be one of the 'jewels in the crown' of the Crossrail route and will provide greatly improved east/ west transit across the capital, linking Heathrow Airport to the West End, the City of London and Canary Wharf.

How have you incorporated the Scheme into your site?

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is the bench mark as to how we as contractors can compare our performance in terms of responsible business against our competitors. Costain Skanska's ethos is to deliver a world class station for our client and London. The Scheme allows us to monitor our performance and provides a framework that harbours a motivation to always strive for more.

To promote awareness of the Scheme the project provides regular briefings to the staff and further to this has carried out team inspections of the site using the Scheme's Code.

Since the beginning of the project, what challenges have you faced?

The project is highly complex and especially so with the site being located metres away from the Grade One listed Paddington station and overlooked by thousands of people based in the surrounding offices. The greatest challenge on the project so far has been to manage the logistics of this central London site. In 2012, over 12,000 deliveries to site were managed and less than 1% per cent were non-compliant with the high standards set by the Crossrail delivery vehicle specification - this is a huge achievement for us and our supply chain.   

How have you been able to overcome these?

To manage the 12,000 vehicles that delivered to site in 2012 the project employed a vehicle booking system; this put the emphasis for planning firmly in the remit of site engineers remit and ensured greater efficiency with a 'just in time' system in place. To reduce congestion on the roads, lorry holding areas were created away from the site and all deliveries were required to arrive there. Vehicles were then checked by traffic marshals to ensure compliance with Crossrail's vehicle requirements, the goods were as requested and of the required quality – only once all of these are confirmed and when site was ready to receive would the vehicle be allowed to make the delivery.

Working close to listed buildings, careful management of site operations is essential, but in addition to this the project will be excavating over 250,000 tonnes of material in its lifespan and settlement to surrounding buildings is something that needs to be monitored extensively. This is exactly what happens with the project installing the world's largest Geomass ATS network in Paddington, measuring in real time and relaying to the engineering team any movements.

With a site overlooked by in excess of 3,500 people on a daily basis it is imperative that our neighbours are kept well informed about the progress of works and any specific activities which may impact on their businesses and/or daily lives. Significant effort has been made to provide information sheets for any change in work activity. Monthly meetings are held to discuss the works, the future construction schedule and to answer any enquiries which our neighbours may have.

In addition, Crossrail run a 24 hour, seven day a week HelpDesk, which responds to enquiries or complaints in relation to our work and ensures that the client is able to monitor our responses and communications.   

Could you detail a few examples of good practice you have put in place on site?

Bringing the supply chain together to deliver this highly complex project has been a real success story. By using the supply chain, numerous examples of best practice have been introduced to the site, benefiting the staff, the project and the local community.

Over 300 stakeholder/ community meetings and 20 information flyers were delivered in 2012 to ensure that our neighbours were kept informed about our construction works.

The safety of the workforce and general public is the greatest priority and many preventative measures have been implemented.  The start of shift briefings and end of shift reviews are essential and provide an important forum for everyone to share concerns and discuss the works. These are attended by all of the engineers and supervisors and actions are taken when necessary to change things following feedback.

Any other comments?

Signing up to the CCS and having an independent assessment of the project performance is immensely useful and enables the team to raise the bar. We are excited to learn how our performance will compare with the Scheme's new scoring.

For Site Registration Examples of Good Practice, click here.