Crossrail Concrete Plant

Since I started my research about tunnelling and railway engineering,  I was wondering about all the production lines that are in operation in Paddington – Crossrail construction site that what exactly they are producing because I could only see clay and some other type of soils.  In the same time I was searching that were all concrete segments that are used by Tunnelling Boring Machine (TBM) come from and so on. Finally yesterday I found out that they built their own concrete plant at the site! They have been producing all concrete and concrete segments for this project at the construction site which is in  Old Oak Common! If I am not wrong other primary material has been imported from outside London by trains. Because I  have been observing these trains passing Hayes and Harlington Station ( where I catch a train towards London Paddington station everyday!)and terminating at Old Oak Common area!19751_c300-410_bfk02_old_oak_common_segment_factory_31749


Cross Rail project is the biggest project in the Europe at the moment. And is the largest single infrastructure in the UK.

Therefore it is every engineer’s dream to be part of this challenging project, not only to work and make money but to learn more in every single day. However for some people, for instance students those are still studying for their first degree and are inserted in the tunnelling and railway engineering, a site visit from one of the contraction sites will be enough to learn and observe some engineering aspects in practice that they are learning in university.

On Friday (13th June 2014) a site visit from Liverpool street station was arranged by Oliver Brandt, the founder of Engineering think up club, for a group of UCL Civil Engineering student. This was the most valuable visit that I have ever had up till now.

In this visit after giving briefing by the operational manager, we visited from Moorgate Shaft, which will be used as ticket hall upon completing the construction. This shaft has diameter of 25m and depth 61m. To be able to imagine the scale, it is as deep in the ground as Moor House is tall. The following pictures are from the visit. You might also find them interesting.



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Engineering Knowledge Club visits Crossrail


Crossrail site visit

Today we had our first Engineering Knowledge Club site visit. Friba, one of our most active members chose Crossrail as her topic of interest. Since our early Knowledge Club meetings she has been researching and writing about tunnelling, and has been on a site visit to Bond Street. She fulfilled her side of the bargain. Our side of the bargain was to help go on a Crossrail site visit.

And that was how Friba and five of her colleagues ended up peering into the vertiginous shafts of the Crossrail station that spans Moorgate and Liverpool Street. I have taken students on plenty of site visits before, but it is stark just how higher the level of engagement is when the student is already will read on the topic.

The five other students have become knowledge club recruits. We look forward to helping them grow their engineering knowledge in the future.

Maple House

What Design Style

Maple House Maple House – Tottenham Court Road

This is Maple House, taken on a very rainy day , it is a building that faces onto Tottenham Court Road, the view above is the side that faces Grafton Way. The building is one I pass most days, some may think it is just a huge grey block as did I when I first laid eyes upon it. However over time seeing it on different days I actually like it as  building, in the rain it shines and has a mirror effect, and in the sun the colours in the granite can be seen. Yeah that’s right, the entire building is clad in granite from Quebec More info. The architect for this building was Sir Richard Seifert & Partners and was completed in 1976. The building is not a particularly well documented one but from what sources and opinions I have gathered I think it falls…

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Tunnelling and Railway Engineering.

Part of my journey to UCL is from Ealing Broadway to London Paddington, Where Europe’s biggest railway construction is happening (Cross Rail). I realised that I am interested in Railway Engineering. So I decided to take photos from what I see and make note of the dates that something new happens in the process of construction to form a log.

As everyone knows, a large distance of railways take place underground in tunnels. I decided to take the challenge and search about types of tunnels and tunnelling techniques in London.

By visiting from Bond Street Station construction site on 12th March 2014, I hope I will understand more about this topic and will be able to develope my reaserch.

Brickblog now live


To help me get up and running with my plan to learn about bricks, I have set up Brickblog, a new Pinterest board that I am using to help my capture interesting examples of brickwork I come across on my travels. My plan is to do some background reading, and then to go out and look for examples to reinforce what I have read. I expect this process to be iterative and reinforcing. The background reading should help my notice more, and my observations will help my ask more questions which I will want to find the answers to in my background reading. Well, that’s the idea at least!

My blog

For my contribution to engineering knowledge club I have decided to create a blog about architectural styles. I plan to capture images of different buildings I see on my travels around London the UK and Europe (possibly) and start by simply trying to categorise them into different styles . I then also plan to have a mini hall of fame with famous architects relating to the buildings I’ve photographed. At the end hopefully I will have a photo timeline of the buildings I’ve photographed and a bank of buildings categorised by design style with some notes about each.
Here’s the link to my blog :