The Crossrail project started in2012 and is currently the largest infrastructure project in Europe. As oftoday, it is 80% complete and should be finished and entirely running by 2020.But one might wonder whether this project truly is beneficial.This assignment will focus on theenvironmental impact of the project and compare the effect the technology usedin the Crossrail project to the one of the original tube lines.
The CO2emission will be used to measure the environmental repercussions of the Crossrailproject. To facilitate this study, some simplificationswill be made. Firstly, I will use an average CO2 emission and trainfrequency for the entire pre-existing underground system, withoutdifferentiating the different lines or time of the day, which will help makethe comparison easier. I will also assume that the average train frequency onthe Elizabeth line is the same as on the underground lines.
Secondly, I willuse the maximum capacity of the train to measure the maximal beneficial impactof the Crossrail.To compare the environmental impactof the Crossrail technology and the underground technology, I will firstcompare the annual CO2 emission of the trains for the same distance.To have a better understanding of the actual benefit, it is also interesting tolook at the capacity of the trains in term of travellers. ‘Based on the current RIBA E designs,Crossrail is expected to emit between 9.6 million tonnes and 14.9 milliontonnes of CO2 during its lifetime (construction and 120 years of operation).Most of these emissions (85%) will be from operation, as opposed toconstruction.’ (Crossrail Ltd.
, 2011: p-1).In order to obtain the CO2 emissions of the Crossrail during itslifetime, I’ll use the arithmetic means. Indeed, even though the values arefrom different magnitudes, they remain relatively close. The main focus beingthe emissions from operation, the value we need is only 85% of the total C02emissions of the project.
Let’s call Etotal the CO2 emissions duringthe Crossrail’s lifetime, excluding construction, and E the emission over oneyear.Etotal=(9.6+14.
9)/2=12.25*0.85=10.41 million tonnes.That value can be rounded to 10.5 million tonnes.To do the comparison, I will use the value of carbon emission over oneyear. E=10.
5/120=0.09 million tonnes per year, so about 90 000 tonnes peryear. Total CO2emissions for TfL and its business units (TfL, 2014: p-29) The London underground produced about 550,000 tonnes of CO2in the year 2013/2014.
We know that the Crossrail covers a total length of approximately 100km (CrossrailLtd., 2018a), and that the original tube rail length is of 402km (Transport forLondon, 2018a). As I assumed that the CO2 emission was evenly spreadacross the lines, meaning that no portion of the rail is more CO2producing than others, the equivalent consumption of the Crossrail would havebeen 118/402 times the consumption of the tube if it had been created with thetraditional technology. tonnesof CO2.
90 000/136,81566%So, the Crossrail technology consumes roughly 66% as much as theunderground. This is true if I consider the number trains, and logically, shouldprove true when considering the number of users. Let’s assume that the waiting time is the same for both the Crossrailand the underground. Using geometric means, I can set the lower bound to 1minute, and the upper bound to about half an hour. The average waiting time is minutes.
This means that there is a frequency of about 11 trains per hour on average. Asthe functioning times of the Crossrail have not been made available yet, I willcompare the train capacity per hour.The maximum capacity of the Crossrail trains is 1,500 persons (Crossrailltd, 2018b), so 16,500 persons per hour. The average capacity of undergroundtrains is: personsper train (Transport for London, 2018b), so about 9,150 persons per hour. Thismeans that the Crossrail can transport timesmore people in the same amount of time. Not only is the Crossrail much less polluting, it is a much moreefficient transport method when considering the number of people travelling. Manydetails were left out of this study.
Indeed, it can be argued that many undergroundusers will not use the Crossrail and that the capacity comparison cannot realisticallyrepresent the effect that the Elizabeth line will have once it starts. Thestudy also considered the underground and Crossrail users as a closed systemand did not take into consideration the possible displacement of car journeys.Lastly, the CO2 emissions of the construction of the Crossrail and ofthe stations was not taken in consideration. Overall, the Crossrail project seems beneficial environmentally in termsof CO2 emissions.