Crossrail launch delayed by nearly a year
Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf (image: dreamstime.com)
The opening of London's new Elizabeth Line, created as part of the £15.4bn Crossrail programme, has been delayed until autumn 2019, nearly a year later than planned.
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The central section of the 60-mile line running from Paddington to Abbey Wood was supposed to open in December this year.
But Crossrail bosses have now released a revised schedule which they said was required to complete the final infrastructure with extensive testing also necessary.
In a statement, Crossrail said: "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."
Meanwhile it is hoped that the full line, from Reading and Heathrow in the west through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, will open "as soon after the central tunnels as possible".
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.”
The new Elizabeth line trains are already operating between Shenfield and Liverpool Street (mainline station) and between Paddington (mainline station) and Hayes & Harlington, in readiness for the full opening. The trains are also being tested in the Heathrow tunnels. Construction activity is drawing to a close including the completion of the remaining architectural fit-out in the new central section stations.