Crossrail International offers public and private sector transport owners and operators, government agencies, developers, funders and multilaterals unique insights into the initiation and delivery of major transport infrastructure schemes and how best to unlock their full potential.
Our expert advisers have first-hand experience of the myriad of complex political, economic, social, physical, technological, environmental and sustainability challenges that all major transport infrastructure projects now face. They have worked through the problems and pitfalls, and created workable solutions – from the initiation stage through to delivery, commissioning and operations.
Crossrail International’s key areas of expertise
Crossrail International’s team of expert advisers has world-class expertise honed throughout the life cycle of Crossrail, Europe’s largest rail infrastructure project. The following key areas of expertise provide a unique combined service offering, drawing on lessons learned from the Crossrail project and how, as a Client organisation, Crossrail Limited dealt with the many challenges it has encountered.
Whilst it is acknowledged that the decisions made regarding the project’s strategic governance structure, alternative funding and finance package, delivery model and strategic procurement policy, for example, are customised to suit Crossrail’s specific needs and financial and political environment, the insights gained are highly transferable to other major transport projects globally.
Sponsor and Client Level Governance
Crossrail Limited was established as an innovative co-sponsor governance model that gave the project the authority and flexibility to make critical project decisions, whilst ensuring accountability through arm’s length oversight from local and national government.
Alternative Funding & Commercial Structuring
Crossrail’s equally innovative funding model brought together an array of local and national contributions including private developer contributions, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), borrowing against future fares revenue and business rates supplements.
Assurance (including Gateway & Red Team Reviews & Executive Oversight)
Crossrail International is able to draw on a wide spectrum of specialist experts to provide a tailored assurance service and draw on the project’s own assurance framework and lessons learned during the delivery phase.
Crossrail developed its ‘Six Pillars’ delivery strategy framework drawing from the London 2012 Olympics’s successfully deployed procurement model to procure over £10 billion worth of contracts without legal challenge. This framework now forms part of HM Treasury’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s (IPA’s) Project Initiation Routemap which offers good practice to public and private sector clients and has seen wide industry adoption across the UK.
Land Value Creation & Capture/Transport-Oriented Development (TOD)
Crossrail was one of the first UK projects to successfully deploy value capture tools as a key part of its funding portfolio. Land value capture has contributed more than £500 million towards the project’s capital costs and has reset many client’s aspirations, helping to change their value capture aspirations by supporting Business Cases to deliver better value.
Crossrail established an operations strategy at an early stage in the project to inform its design and planning for bringing the railway into service. The operational concept and specification for the completed railway has served as a model for other rail projects.
Crossrail captured relevant and timely project management information to provide for timely decision-making and has led the UK industry in creating a programme controls environment that delivered on the ‘single source of truth’ maxim that all complex projects now require in our complex and fast moving environments. The Programme Controls function comprised several integrated specialist teams working together to establish and deliver to a performance baseline, maintain design integrity and allow the interrogation of performance data to aid decision-making, as well as manage risk, opportunities and issues to protect programme level outcomes.
Crossrail implemented a leading edge, risk-based quality management process across a large and complex programme that has created a new benchmark in management control in the UK.
The development and implementation of a Quality Operating Model, running throughout the supply chain, ensures that design, procurement, project management (of the supply chain), construction, testing and commissioning are effective in providing a railway that is technically correct and safe to operate.
Crossrail’s innovative digital and information management strategy has delivered a step change in the deployment of building information modelling (BIM) and digital design, and embedded a collaborative, cost-effective approach to technical problem-solving and workflow management between sponsors, client, designers, contractors and suppliers. Crossrail also promoted the use of off-site manufacturing (including DfMA) techniques helping to improve productivity, quality and safety in UK construction projects.
Crossrail’s award-winning Innovate18 programme captures and explores pioneering ideas from all those involved in the project, helping to raise the bar for other major projects.
Public Affairs, Communications & Stakeholder Engagement
Stakeholder engagement is crucial for the successful delivery of complex rail systems and infrastructure in dense urban environments and Crossrail invested significantly to ensure government ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs), civil servants, local councils and borough leaders, councillors, local residents and businesses, lobby groups and institutions were fully engaged with the project’s benefits whilst keeping London moving through nine years of intensive construction (including throughout the hosting of the London 2012 Olympics).
The project’s stakeholder engagement approach was supported by a carefully developed Public Affairs strategy that successfully communicated to political, social, media and technical audiences alike, raising Crossrail’s brand recognition and achieving industry leading positive perceptions and advocacy ratings. This approach underpinned the critical cross-party political support the project achieved throughout its life cycle.
Minimising energy consumption during the construction and operational life of Crossrail has always been a key focus of Crossrail’s sustainability strategy for the project alongside protection of the physical environment and long-term carbon footprint of the operational railway.
Crossrail has created innovative solutions to take a proactive position on sustainability and what that means for the project. As an example of this forward thinking, Crossrail established a ground-breaking relationship with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to put the 3.4 million tonnes of spoil from the excavated tunnelling back in beneficial use through the construction of a new bird sanctuary, Europe’s largest man-made nature reserve in the Thames Estuary.
To successfully deliver Crossrail’s complex tunnelling strategy required significant input from across the client team and its advisers, contractors and suppliers as well as careful market engagement, planning and management to deliver one of the most impressive underground metro systems in the world.
Tunnelling in London required the highest degree of planning, design and execution to take account of the geological and ground conditions, the impact of existing and future construction above ground, the need to weave around and connect with the existing London Underground system, and the need to successful manage the impact of extracting spoil and taking this to the Thames Estuary for deposit.
Key lessons were learned about tunnelling and excavation-related ground movements and their impact on the built environment, the performance of tunnel boring machines, sprayed concrete lining design and implementation, and the management of groundwater during construction.
Skills & Social Agenda
Crossrail put in place a strong team to deliver on its ambitious skills and social agenda that focused on attracting the best talent and retaining them, up‑skilling the existing workforce, providing employment for local communities along the Crossrail route, and leaving a lasting skills and employment legacy to the industry for its future projects.
Crossrail set strategic labour needs targets as part of its procurement process and assessed contractors’ performance through its social sustainability performance assurance framework. With the commitment of the supply chain, Crossrail has been able to deliver over 1,000 apprenticeship starts and has provided around 4,400 job starts for local and unemployed people living along the Crossrail route.
Crossrail has also effectively engaged with young people, parents and teachers to change the perception of engineering and construction careers. The Young Crossrail programme has engaged with over 44,000 individuals to improve the take up of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and showcase the opportunities available in the sector.
Additionally, to meet the specialist skills requirements for tunnelling and underground construction phases of Crossrail and future infrastructure projects, Crossrail work with industry to establish the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA). Through this direct intervention to address skills gaps in the industry, over 16,000 people have now trained at TUCA, leaving a lasting skills legacy to the industry.