The latest issue of Subterranea reports a visit by three of their members - Stewart Wild, Paul Sowan and John Lill - to the Crossrail 'almost completed sub-surface station box'.
They report on the surrounding area where new 'apartment blocks are interspersed between retained Arsenal buildings, some of which have new uses' - and they also note the Dial Arch pub (which, of course, acted as a sort of 'waiting room' while the box was open to view).
They also note that excavation uncovered 'the foundations of former buildings and three abandoned old cannon barrels' and, in addition, 'Thanet Sand, vast quantities of which were excavated and found a ready sale as an eminently marketable commodity, with uses including golf course bunkers". As geologists and historians they note 'the occurrence of this sand at Woolwich, an ideal moulding-sand for casting bronze on, has been said to be the reason why the Royal Laboratory was relocated here from Moorfields in 1715'. They also noted that 'the water table in this part of Woolwich lies just below ground surface level, so the station box had to be made watertight, and measures taken to prevent it from floating like a boat'!
However - they are Sub Brit after all - descended to 'admire the huge space which, when the railway is completed, will house escalators, a very wide central platform and running lines either side'.... and then 'beyond the new station the two tunnels will slope downwards into waterlogged flinty chalk below the Thanet Sand and pass below the Thames en route to join the Essex branch of Crossrail, then on westwards to the western portals beyond Paddington.'
For more see Subterranea April 2013 Issue 32