Crossrail engineer from Gants Hill talks shop with Prince Charles and Camilla

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:00 01 February 2013

Akif Mahboob

Akif Mahboob


A young graduate engineer, who is working on the Crossrail project, had a brush with royalty on Wednesday when he met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Akif Mahboob, 23, of Middleton Gardens, Gants Hill, was one of a select group of workers at the Farringdon work site chosen to meet their Royal Highnesses on a special visit to mark the 150th anniversary of London Underground.

Mr Mahboob was able to have a short chat with the royal visitors and give them an insight into the future of the capital’s transport.

The former University College London student, who was only told he would be meeting members of the royal family the day before the visit, said: “I grew up near Gants Hill station where the tube passed beneath my home, so I always had an interest in trains and stations when I was younger.

“I was lucky enough to get onto a graduate scheme and Crossrail is my first job since then.”

Mr Mahboob, who joined the Crossrail project in October last year, said: “I wasn’t able to tell anyone about the visit, and I only found out who it was at the last minute.

“It was amazing to meet Prince Charles and Camilla, especially as I am only in a junior role. He asked me about how I got the job and how university had set me up for the role. It was definitely a case of speak when spoken too.

“It was just fantastic to meet them and Charles is a really funny and lovely character and always making a joke. “It definitely exceeded all my expectations and my family were ecstatic when they found out.”

There are currently 350 people working at the two Crossrail Farringdon sites, building two new ticket halls, passenger tunnels and platforms.

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