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First Elizabeth line train tests through Crossrail Tunnels

27 February 2018 | By James Kenny

Image: TfL

With 10 months to go until the launch of the Elizabeth line, Crossrail and Transport for London (TfL) have tested the line in the tunnels through London this week.

A new train – built by Bombardier in Derby – was driven from Abbey Wood station, entering the tunnels at Plumstead Portal before travelling under the Thames towards Connaught Tunnel before returning to Abbey Wood.

Earlier this month, Crossrail also activated the 25kV overhead lines in a section of the tunnels beneath the streets of London, which ensured this first journey could take place.

It is the first of hundreds of test runs that will take place throughout the year. One train will initially be used for testing the railway and signalling infrastructure in the tunnels before more are gradually introduced.

Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive of Crossrail, said: “The start of infrastructure testing is a major milestone moment. It’s testament to the men and women who have, and continue to, work tirelessly on the project that we are now welcoming the first Elizabeth line train that’s powered by the new overhead lines, into the tunnels. 

“The Crossrail programme is now over 90% complete and this heralds the start of our works to bring together the new stations, track, power, signalling and trains ahead of the Elizabeth line opening in December.”

Howard Smith, operations director for the Elizabeth line, said: “This is a huge milestone for the project, nine years after construction first began. I’m thrilled to see the first train make its maiden voyage from Abbey Wood through the brand new tunnels.”

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