Crossrail to open Elizabeth line by the end of 2020


Crossrail, a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), has announced that the Elizabeth line will be opened by the end of 2020, except for Bond Street station, which will be ready later.

Crossrail has released a new plan for the completion of outstanding works and bring the Elizabeth line into service as early as possible.

After conducting a detailed audit of the programme, the new team claims to have developed a robust plant to put the infrastructure project back on track.

More than 100,000 interdependent tasks were required to be identified and re-sequenced.

Crossrail has identified a six-month delivery window with a midpoint at the end of 2020. The central section of the Elizabeth line will open between Paddington and Abbey Wood and link the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf and southeast London starting with 12 trains per hour during peak hours.

The company expects all stations on the route to open, except for Bond Street, which is delayed due to the design and delivery challenges.

After the central section opens, full services across the Elizabeth line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will begin as soon as possible, the company said.

According to Crossrail, four main tasks – building and testing of software to integrate the train operating system with three different signalling systems, installation of test vital station systems, complete installation of equipment in the tunnels and testing the communications systems – are to be completed.

When these tasks are completed, trial run will be taken up on the completed railway to sort out any problems and ensure higher levels of safety and reliability when passenger service begins.

Crossrail CEO Mark Wild said: “I share the frustration of Londoners that the huge benefits of the Elizabeth line are not yet with us. But this plan allows Crossrail Ltd and its contractors to put the project back on track to deliver the Elizabeth line.

“Crossrail is an immensely complex project and there will be challenges ahead particularly with the testing of the train and signalling systems but the Elizabeth line is going to be incredible for London and really will be worth the wait.

“This new plan will get us there and allow this fantastic new railway to open around the end of next year.”


Image: Crossrail to begin the Elizabeth line by the end of 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.

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