The Duke of Edinburgh went below ground in the City on Wednesday (November 4) to view progress on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.

The Duke was shown around the new Crossrail station taking shape 30m below Farringdon, and met some of the apprentices, construction workers and engineers delivering the station.

At 300m, Farringdon station’s platforms will be the longest on the Crossrail route with ticket halls either side of the historic Smithfield Market connecting to both Barbican and Farringdon London Underground stations.

The Duke of Edinburgh tours Crossrail - Farringdon station

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Transport has praised Crossrail for invigorating regeneration in east and south east London.

McLoughlin sees Canary Wharf

Mr McLoughlin visited Crossrail’s Canary Wharf station to see for himself the vast now empty station that in two years’ time will be thronging with commuters.

Mr McLoughlin viewed the recently completed ticket hall and platforms, and the preparations taking place for the installation of the systems needed to operate the station.

He also visited Woolwich where the station is under construction, as are the 1,000 homes in a major regeneration project above the Crossrail line. Woolwich will be just eight minutes away from Canary Wharf when the line opens for business in 2018.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin takes a tour around Crossrail in east and south east London

In the Woolwich station itself, the 250m long platforms, lift shafts, and floor slabs are nearing structural completion. From early next year, the fit-out of the station will begin to turn the structure into a fully operating station.

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His final stop on the trip was Abbey Wood where Network Rail has recently started to build the new station. The foundations of the station are currently being installed and the building will soon become visible above ground for the first time.

Mr McLoughlin said: “The progress that Crossrail is making is truly impressive, and it is great to see how the project will not only provide better journeys for passengers across London but will also support massive regeneration in the surrounding areas.

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“Rapid transport links to the City and the West End will unlock investment and jobs, supporting further economic growth and local development.”

Mr McLoughlin also travelled on the Jubilee line and the Emirates Air Line to see how London’s newest railway will integrate with the existing network, linking some of London’s fastest growing residential areas to key business and leisure districts. An estimated 200 million passengers will travel on the £14.8billion Crossrail each year.

Station profiles

Crossrail Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is the most progressed of Crossrail’s 10 new stations. Eight 30 metre long escalators, nine 11m long escalators, six lifts, flooring, wall cladding and space for station services are all in place in the ticket hall level.

Situated in the North Dock of West India Quay, Canary Wharf is one of the largest Crossrail stations. The station, retail and park areas are six storeys high and at 256m long the development is slightly longer than the height of One Canada Square. The station development will provide a new link between Canary Wharf and Poplar.

Crossrail Woolwich

The new Crossrail station, including the 250m long platforms, lift shafts, and the floor slabs, is nearing structural completion. From early next year, the fit-out of the station will begin, including escalators, wall cladding and electrical systems, to turn the structure into a fully operating station. The station box is 18m deep, 26m wide and 256m long.

Woolwich will see some of the biggest journey time savings on the TfL-run Crossrail route, with fast and direct access to destinations such as Canary Wharf (8 minutes), Liverpool Street (14 minutes) and Bond Street (20 minutes).