In the next six months, construction will be complete on the Francis Crick Institute, which is poised to become London’s next biomedical powerhouse. With a budget of more than £100 million (US$154 million) and plans to hire 1,250 scientists, The Crick Institute will house imaging equipment such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, electron microscopes, and super-resolution microscopes. The institute was designed with the sensitive equipment in mind, and facilities were deliberately located away from major railway lines. However, a new proposed train station has raised concerns about vibration noise and EMI that could disrupt with important scientific studies.
In public documents submitted to the UK parliamentary committee, the UK Medical Research Counsil (MRC) cautioned that the train station’s proposed location was too close to the Crick Institute. Additionally, the Crick Institute told Nature, “The Crossrail 2 trains, stopping and starting at the proposed station would have an electromagnetic impact on our imaging facilities.” The MRC is now working with London’s government transportation agency to find a solution. Other than choosing a different location for the train station, possible compromises include moving the tunnel deeper underground and making tunnel linings thicker. The government will make a decision in the next month; construction for the new rail line would not begin until 2020 at the earliest.