Smart London Crossrail

Crossrail: Smart London case study

Crossrail is delivering a new railway that will maintain London’s place as a world-class city. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. Twenty-six miles of new tunnels now weave through London’s complex underground network. Ten new stations along with all the infrastructure and systems will be ready for passengers in 2018.

Delivering all this safely and efficiently is no easy feat. Neither is keeping the city moving during construction. To do this, Crossrail is harnessing the latest technology and pushing established techniques to new limits.


Crossrail is the first major infrastructure project in the UK to have an innovation programme. After the 2018 launch date, Crossrail calls it Innovate18. It was developed in partnership with academics at Imperial College.

Innovate18 is helping the UK rail industry to become more innovative. An industry-wide innovation programme will soon emerge across the UK rail industry? , using Innovate18 as its model.

How innovation helps

The Innovate18 programme has created a culture of innovation in Crossrail, as thousands of workers test new technology products and different ways of working. Many of these technologies have never been tested on this scale before.

One example is the use of immersion facilities, which have provided the opportunity for engineers to work in a collaborative, virtual 3D environment to work with building information modelling (BIM), rather than working from a 2D screen.

Key Facts