Crossrail project: use of sprayed concrete tunnel linings on London’s Elizabeth line

Document type: Journal Publication
Author: Donal Coughlan BE MEngSc CEng MIEI MICE FIStructE, Rosa Diez BSc MSc DIC FGS CEng MIMMM, John Comins BEng HND ACSM, Dr Alfred Stärk Dipl Ing Dr Ing, ICE Publishing
Publication Date: 24/03/2017

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  • Abstract

    This paper discusses the use of sprayed concrete linings on the Crossrail project to deliver the Elizabeth east–west railway line across London. It describes how sprayed concrete linings have been successfully used, leading to significant programme and cost savings to the project. Sprayed concrete linings have been used to form complex station tunnel geometries, including tunnel junctions and tunnels of varying cross-section as well as a number of large cross-over caverns, shafts and adits. The design of sprayed concrete lining tunnels is discussed in detail, including how the tunnels were analysed, sized and reinforced to resist applied ground loads. The paper also describes how the technique has been successfully adopted to form the complex caverns at Whitechapel and Stepney Green cross-overs. Topics covered include construction methodology, material selection, monitoring requirements and lessons learnt for application on future projects

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  • Authors

    Donal Coughlan BE MEngSc CEng MIEI MICE FIStructE - CH2M, Crossrail Ltd

    Donal Coughlan is a Principal Engineer in CH2M’s Tunnel and Earth Engineering Practice group with nearly thirty years experience in the construction industry.  He currently works on the Crossrail project within the Chief Engineer’s Group as Head of Discipline for Civils and Structures providing technical leadership across the programme.  He graduated with a degree in civil engineering from University College Cork which was followed by a period working on the design and construction of various bridge, building and maritime projects.  After joining CH2M (Halcrow) in 2001 he worked on HS1 (Channel Tunnel Rail Link) in various roles within the Rail Link Engineering London Tunnels team.  He subsequently worked on the design of the Docklands Light Railway Woolwich Arsenal Extension.  This was followed by a period spent working on the Initial Reference Design for Crossrail.  He worked as Design Manager on the London Underground Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade before returning to work on Crossrail within the Chief Engineer’s Group as a Tunnel Engineer/SCL Manager.

    Rosa Diez BSc MSc DIC FGS CEng MIMMM - Mott MacDonald

    Rosa Diez is a Project Director within the Tunnels Division in Mott MacDonald Ltd. She started her career in underground construction over 23 years ago on the Heathrow Express project.  After participating in the design of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and several projects overseas (Rome Metro, Asuncion Sewer and CERN) she was appointed as Geotechnical Lead for the supervising team of the Porto Metro (Portugal) during the construction. On her return to the UK, and working for Mott MacDonald Ltd, she took Design Manager roles for projects for London Underground (Waterloo & City Step Free Access and Victoria Station Upgrade) and in 2012 she joined the Crossrail team as Design Manager for the C121 contract where she was responsible for the detailed design of all the SCL stations, crossovers and other SCL structures in the project.  She also participates in Hydro Projects in South America and Spain as Tunnelling Expert and Expert Witness.

    John Comins BEng HND ACSM - Dragados-Sisk JV

    John Comins is Construction Manager for Dragados and is currently working on the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project. John started working underground in the South African gold mines in 1982 and after graduating from the Camborne School of Mines in 1987 then started his tunnelling career on the Channel Tunnel, then moved onto the Storebaelt Tunnel in Denmark, Heathrow Express in London, City Link project in Melbourne followed by Northside Storage Tunnel in Sydney, Australia. After returning to the UK in 2001 he worked on Channel Tunnel Rail Link Contract 220 with Nishimatsu then with Costain on the Waterloo SFA and West Ham FAS before joining Joseph Gallagher Ltd in 2010. John moved on to work on Contract 305 on Crossrail as SCL Manager in 2012 and has been Construction Manager since 2013. In total he currently has 28 years of “hands on” tunnelling experience.

    Dr Alfred Stärk Dipl Ing Dr Ing - BeMo Tunnelling

    Dr Alfred Stärk is Chief Geotechnical Engineer and Engineering Manager at BBMV for Crossrail Contract 510 ‘Whitechapel and Liverpool Street Station Tunnels’ since March of 2011. He started his career at the University of Hanover, Germany, where he worked as assistant professor and consultant for 10 years. In 2002 he joined BeMo Tunnelling, Innsbruck, Austria. He now has 25 years of experience in large-scale tunnelling, mainly with sprayed concrete lining in soft ground.