Crossrail is the United Kingdom’s biggest engineering project in Europe and a jewel that promises the joining of London’s transportation infrastructure. However, the emphasis in the press has been largely on missed opening timelines and budget overruns, which is all justified. However, a recent documentary on the project brings more than the sum of the parts.
The film provides insight into why Crossrail, Europe’s costliest and most delayed engineering venture, has suffered from blunders that have sent overall costs soaring to an astounding £18 billion. It queries experts on when the venture will be finished and what is causing problems.
The documentary is distinctive in gaining access to an archive of the project from its earliest days with unparalleled insight. The project is a case study in the importance of early risk mitigation, planning, and governance. The ambitious nature of this transport project is evident from the sheer scale of it; it has become very easy to deride the project as a costly failure as its construction program has stretched out.
Still, this documentary does an outstanding job of giving the project its due and showing what a project of this magnitude is up against. From ancient burial sites to severe fires, endless engineering problems, and countless protests, the project has been nudged off track, with the film striking a delicate balance by not reducing itself to a humdrum round-up of how much the project will eventually cost or when it might eventually open.
In summary, the documentary covers the problems that the Crossrail project has confronted and the reasons behind them. It explains why the initiative has paid a heavy price for its success, and most importantly, it enables us to understand the beauty of such large-scale projects. However, the documentary does a better job of articulating the real trials and tribulations that Crossrail had to overcome and why the project continues to be one of Europe’s most impressive feats of engineering.
I recommend you to watch this remarkable documentary about Crossrail.