Crossrail Station Abbey Wood, London, United Kingdom

Customer Project

Client Crossrail Limited, UK
Network Rail Limited, UK
Architect Fereday Pollard Architects Ltd., UK
Structural Analysis Timber Construction enartec - engineering  + architecture, Italy
Timber Construction Prefabrication, Work Planning  and Assembly WIEHAG Holding AG, Austria

Length: ~ 181 ft | Width: ~ 158 ft | Height: ~ 43 ft | Weight: ~ 76 t
Number of Nodes: 1,521 | Members: 1,469 | Materials: 7 | Cross-Sections: 77

With the Crossrail railway line in Great Britain, one of the biggest infrastructure projects of Europe is in progress. The construction costs for the 118‑kilometre railway line amount to about €21 billion. It runs from Reading in Berkshire in the West to Shenfield in Essex in the East crossing through the centre of London.

A branch line runs under the Thames to Woolwich and ends at the recently completed Abbey Wood Station. Its extraordinary timber roof construction has the shape of a huge manta ray which seems to hover above the station.

Two Dlubal customers have been involved in the project. WIEHAG Holding AG planned, produced and assembled the timber structure, the engineers of enartec – engineering + architecture performed the structural analysis for the roof structure in RFEM.


The roof made of larch and spruce glulam timber with the dimensions 164 ft x 181 ft has a total area of 17,222 ft². Four single-curved primary supporting bars made of glulam timber form the basis of the roof structure. They were designed as articulated beams and each beam has a total length of 148 ft.

Single and double-curved secondary beams are connected to the primary beams with a centre distance of two metres. 18 straight or single‑curved tertiary supporting bars are included as well. Three‑layered plates made of natural larch and spruce wood are used to build the roof supporting structure.

The roof is supported by columns and beams made of steel. The bracings and the edge beams of the roof are made of steel as well. A total of 30 tonnes of steel were used.

Once the Crossrail railway line will be completed in 2019 as planned, the free form roof structure of the Abbey Wood Station is certainly one of the architectural highlights of this major project.

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