Abbey Wood & Woolwich Crossrail Progress

A very brief update with some not very recent photos, but it does show the pretty swift progress between the Plumstead tunnel entrance and Abbey Wood station. Firstly, we have a new footbridge installed, and it’s a bit of a horror show. Greenwich council’s power over the design was probably limited but surely they could have consulted with Crossrail on designs, as this is a blot on the area. DSCF2347 This is just going to put pedestrians off using the crossing. The need for long disabled access slopes, the need for protection of the line with mesh, that’s all necessary, but this is hardly the way to do it. Big fail from Crossrail here. With quite a bit more Crossrail related infrastructure to come along the widened rail corridor lets hope this isn’t a portent of what’s to come, away from the favoured new station area. Around this bridge, posts have been going in over the past few weeks for the overhead electrified power lines:

Looking towards Abbey Wood station

The wire mesh can be seen covering the entirety of disabled bridge access, which seems overkill. The exposed concrete base will not look too good when weathered and graffitied. Turning 180 degrees, and looking directly towards the tunnel entrance taking the line to Woolwich station: Abbey Wood crossrail inesThe line heading off to the right will head to the new maintenance yard and sidings being constructed at Plumstead. This substantial facility was quite late in planning, and was absent in initial plans. It will provide some much needed, local skilled employment. Above the Woolwich station box, construction of the towers continues apace:

Berkeley Homes' development above Woolwich Crossrail station
Berkeley Homes’ development above Woolwich Crossrail station

I didn’t realise the tower in the foreground would be appearing so soon. Just across from it, Armourers Court will appear in a few years:

Berkely tower on left with Armourers to right
Berkeley tower on left with Armourers to right

It’s a great shame Woolwich station will not have entrances at both ends of the station. Yes, the station was touch and go for some time, but since then many housing applications have come in alongside new plans such as Spray Street masterplan, which could have helped fund an eastern entrance to aid Plumstead. The station box is a substantial length, and a public eastern entrance would save quite some walking time for those in Plumstead. As it is, only an emergency exit is being built at the eastern end.

For frequent updates and information on the project it’s well worth looking at Bexley is Bonkers updates here.


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    4 thoughts on “Abbey Wood & Woolwich Crossrail Progress

    • Thanks for the update.

      I’m sure in a few years time people will wonder why Woolwich Station isn’t more integrated with Woolwich Arsenal. I’m sure there are sounds commercial and engineering reasons but it’s a pity there won’t be the same integration as Abbey Wood.

      May they’ll be an option to build additional exits/entrances and subways in the future just as they did at Canary Wharf station as the estate developed.

      I’m curious to see how busy the trains are when the westbound trains pull into Woolwich from Abbey Wood. Will it be like the DLR when it pulls into George V in the morning i.e. full with no seats available? Also, I keep seeing signs saying Crossrail will be running services in 2018 – does that cover Woolwich?

    • Start date depends on who you ask at Crossrail. Website currently says central tunnelled section only by December 2018 with another 12 months for full service to Heathrow and Reading.

    • I agree about the additional exit/entrance to integrate Woolwich and Plumstead commuters. Can’t help but think that the Crossrail Station in Woolwich is for the benefit predominantly of those in the Berkeley development – it seems to deliberately direct people to the centre of the development. I think this is actually divisive – already it feels like Berkeley development is a gated community cut off from Woolwich. I suppose this isn’t surprising given the fact that the Crossrail station here is substantially funded by Berkeley! Greenwich Council should have insisted on incorporating local areas in plans and I really hope they do!

    • I wish they’d knock down some more of the wall at the arsenal site. I know some see it as a monument and it may be listed but it’s such a barrier.

      As for start dates – the Abbey Wood branch is the first ‘proper’ bit to begin, and the plan is Dec 2018. I expect testing, which the public can use, in the months up to then. As the Abbey Wood branch runs through Canary Wharf, who funded a fair bit and are very keen on it, that is one reason it will see the first trains.

      Trains to Abbey Wood from Kent will be extended and they’ll be more of them to connect with crossrail. Given that, and not many seats, I expect trains to be quite busy by the time they reach Woolwich. However, I think a fair few people will not change coming from Kent, given the lack of cross platform switching. If on the way to the City, which could be done in just over 25 mins on the existing lines in 2018 after London Bridge rebuilding is complete (it’s 27 mins now), why get up from your seat (which most have arriving at Abbey Wood from Kent), cross over and wait for another train that takes 18 mins to the City. The 7 mins gained will all be lost in the transfer, and you run the risk of not having a seat.


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