Crossrail trains will not start running through central London this December as planned.
Instead, trains will start running in autumn 2019. Crossrail said the delay was needed “to complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required to ensure the Elizabeth Line (as it will be known) opens as a safe and reliable railway.”
When open, it will add 10% to Central London’s rail capacity, and will boost the capital’s economy by around £42 billion.
In a statement, Crossrail Ltd said it has been working hard to maintain the programme and sufficient testing time is required to introduce the next phase of the railway – the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood – in a way that can be guaranteed to be safe and reliable.
It said that the original programme for testing has been compressed by more time being needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and the development of railway systems software. Testing has started but further time is required to complete the full range of integrated tests.
Phase One, the introduction of Class 345s between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield was delivered around a month late in June 2017, while Phase Two, the introduction of ‘345s’ between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport has also been delayed due to issues with European Train Control System (ETCS).
Simon Wright, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “The Elizabeth Line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages. We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway. We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth Line.”
- For the FULL story, read RAIL 861, published on September 12, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle on September 8.