Crossrail reveals its inclined lifts

Four inclined lifts would be provided for Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) as is publicly known but did you know there were more? Some stations actually had temporary inclined lifts built for construction purposes, even though those spaces would later be used for escalators! Pictures of those are extremely rare, and the ones that are available depict those on Dean Street and Farringdon West. The permanent incline lifts are located at Barbican and Farringdon East, and while the top landing at Farringdon can only be seen from the road outside, the one at Liverpool Street has been revealed to a greater extent – one can see the counter balance, the actual tracks, the emergency steps, the signage, the lift doors, and of course the lift itself!

The Liverpool Street incline lift can be seen at the Elizabeth Line’s eastern entrance, which is located next to Broadgate, just a few blocks from the main line terminus. This location was once a busy city thoroughfare, but it has now been converted into a pedestrian zone or a large piazza, similar to other parts of the city. However, it has the feel of a large London square. It’s hard to believe this was once the entrance to the Broad Street railway terminus! In just over 30 years, there has been a lot of change!

Day time shot showing the top of the new escalators and the incline lift entrance.

However, the changes that abound here are not yet complete. The building where Crossrail’s headquarters were located on the south side of the piazza (the Crossrail sign can still be seen today, but for how much longer is unknown) is about to be demolished, and a new building known as One Liverpool Street will be built in its place. However, it is a contentious project. More can be read on that at City AM.

That is, the new Elizabeth Line entrance has yet to be seen in the setting intended for it. Anyway, I’m not going to write about it because I’m sure someone else will! This is a post about the new incline lift that will transport passengers from street level to the ticket hall and, eventually, to the Elizabeth Line platforms. First, here’s a diagram of how the lifts are configured.

The Crossrail Liverpool Street lift diagram. As this shows there’s three lifts, two incline, one vertical, down to the platforms. This doesn’t include those at the other end of the station in Moorgate (which are all vertical examples.)

The entrance to the incline lift.

Top of the escalators with the incline lift at left.

Close up of the top landing arrangement. The counter-balance (yellow) can be seen beneath the tracks.

General view of the incline lift trackage. Many of these photos are at night time – it was difficult to get decent shots in the day time due to reflections in the glass.

The lower part of the escalators leading into the ticket hall itself. The incline lift can also be seen.

Close up of the incline lift itself. The lights inside it are the operating buttons including up/down, doors open/close and alarm buttons.

Another view of the top landing of the incline lift plus the escalators. The escalators were going full speed, I took a film showing this. I don’t think they’ve stopped since they were started. They were going full blast when I visited in the day times and going full blast late at night too! No wonder TfL’s in dire financial straits!

View of the escalators in the daytime. One wonders when this will actually be open to the public? Seems like it’ll be 2022 although it was said at one time Andy Byford had hoped for the central core section of the Elizabeth Line to be opened by Christmas 2021. The Elizabeth Line’s entrance lobby appears generally dull and unappealing in the daytime. Compare with below.

The same view at night. One can see there is a good level of lighting, there’s uplighters and there’s also trackside lights (eg along the sides of the escalators themselves) and I must say the effect is quite pleasing, impressive even with different tones of grey and blues. Its an ultra modern feel in fact.

One can see how the nice lighting effects continue around the top of the escalator head house. The large commemorative sign at the entrance to the ticket hall itself is quite impressive! But what does it say?

Well I sorted that one out! I rendered it fully from the shots I took – as shown below.

The City of London’s commemorative panel stating the Elizabeth Line was partially funded from the City’s corporation.

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