(London – Crossrail Project, United Kingdom)


The main archaeological activities in urban areas are emergency excavations due to rapid expansion and intensive construction. Since this kind of excavation takes place under great time pressure, operational and organizational flexibility is vital. During this session, the structures of various archaeologically active organisations are introduced and their advantages and disadvantages are being discussed. By looking at these examples and exchanging experiences the participants learn about new tools to help them improve their work and they will get support in case of organizational changes such as leaving the public for the semi-private or private sector.


This paper will provide the session with an overview of the London Crossrail Project organisation and development of the project design for archaeology.

Crossrail includes 37 stations, with eight brand new central London stations and 28 upgrades of others, 11 of these major reconstructions. It is sponsored by up to a dozen separate government and local government departments and private investors and landowners, many hundreds of other stakeholders, and currently involves design and preliminary construction work. The railway shall be complete in 2017.

The new railway passes through the heart of the West End of London and along the north edge of the Roman and Medieval city where deep construction for several new stations has required the careful assessment and evaluation of the archaeological sequence at some key historic locations. Many important historic buildings and industrial archaeology are also affected by the works.

This paper provides a description of the organisational framework that the archaeology programme operates in and looks at the management structure, access and programme risk constraints that the project planning has faced.  We will look specifically at the project design, how the various stakeholders have agreed during planning for the project to control impacts on archaeological sites, project timescales and organisation of the multiple consultants teams and contractors who are undertaking survey and investigations. Results so far and some of the key organisational challenges shall be discussed.


Project Design; Multidiciplinary; Public/Private sector partnership; risk modeling