Last phase of testing FINALLY starts on troubled Crossrail scheme

Last phase of testing FINALLY starts on troubled Crossrail scheme

November 22, 2021

Last phase of testing FINALLY starts on troubled Crossrail scheme with Elizabeth Line set to open in first half of 2022…more than 1,000 days late and £4billion over budget

  • Londoners will be able to take the Elizabeth line from the first half of 2022
  • The line is currently undergoing trial stage to ensure safety and reliability 
  • Transport bodies will carry out 150 scenarios over coming months
  • It had been set a budget of £14.8bn and was due to be completed in 2018
  • The predicted cost of finishing the project is now £18.9 billion

The troubled Crossrail scheme is now finally in the dress rehearsal stage and set to open to passengers next year – more than 1,000 days late and £4billion over budget.

Londoners will be able to take the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from the first half of 2022. 

The line is currently undergoing the trial stage, to ensure the safety and reliability of the railway for public use and to test the timetables. 

It had been set a budget of £14.8 billion in 2010 and was initially due to be completed in December 2018, but it was hit by a number of problems including construction delays and difficulties installing complex signalling systems.

The predicted cost of finishing the project is now £18.9 billion. 

Trains are now due to begin running in the central section between February and June next year, with full services scheduled to launch in either December 2022 or May 2023.

Transport bodies and emergency services are now set to carry out 150 scenarios over the coming months, including exercises to ensure that staff can respond to incidents including customers being unwell and signal failures.

One of the platforms for the new Elizabeth Line at Woolwich station in east London, August 2019

A sign on the platform of Paddington Crossrail station on February 14, 2020 in London

The most complex exercises include evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff and volunteers, before a period of ‘shadow running’ which involves the line operating without passengers.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the trial phase marks a ‘significant milestone’ in the delivery of the Elizabeth line, which will boost the capital’s economy.

Mr Khan added: ‘The next few months are crucial to making sure the railway can open safely next year, and everyone is working incredibly hard to reach that goal.

‘The Elizabeth line will help transform travel in London and the South East, dramatically improving transport links, supporting regeneration and boosting our economic recovery.’

The launch of the Elizabeth line was led by the Crossrail board until October 2020, when governance was transferred to TfL.

Crossrail chief executive, Mark Wild, said the line is on track to open in the first half of 2022, though an exact date has not yet been given.

He said: ‘This is an immensely complex railway and we must be able to demonstrate the highest levels of reliability.

‘Everyone is working hard to deliver the Elizabeth line as soon as practically possible and we remain on track to commence passenger services in the first half of 2022.’

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