Search

Crossrail to miss its launch date by nine months as ‘extensive testing’ is still required on London’s new east to west railway

PUBLISHED: 10:25 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 31 August 2018

The Elizabeth Line train at the Crossrail depot between Ilford and Seven Kings. Picture: TfL

The Elizabeth Line train at the Crossrail depot between Ilford and Seven Kings. Picture: TfL

TfL

Crossrail, London’s new east to west train service, will miss its December 2018 opening date target, it has been announced today (Friday, August 31).

The line, which when finished will be known as the Elizabeth line and will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, is made up of 42km of tunnels running underneath the capital and has been under construction since May 2009.

A spokesman for the project has now revealed that the line will not be fully operational until autumn 2019, with the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood still needing additional work.

More time is needed to complete “final infrastructure and extensive testing” to ensure a “safe and reliable railway” is delivered, according to Crossrail Limited.

Rail minister Jo Johnson announced last month that the scheme’s budget has been increased from £14.8 billion to £15.4 billion due to “cost pressures”.

Crossrail Limited described the 10-year project as “hugely complex”, stating that the original timetable for testing has been reduced by contractors needing more time to complete work in the central tunnels and develop software.

The firm insisted that “the focus remains” on opening the full east-west line “as soon after the central tunnels open as possible”.

Simon Wright, Crossrail Limited 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.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan admitted the delay was disappointing, but stressed that it could not be helped.

He said: ““This has been a 10-year construction project and is one of the most complex engineering schemes ever undertaken. It is essential that a safe and reliable railway operates from day one, and this has to be the top priority.”

There are now 15 Elizabeth line trains which are already operating on the TfL Rail line from Liverpool Street to Shenfield.

Latest Romford News Stories

15:00

Medieval England was slow to develop a cash economy. Coinage was in short supply.

12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

The well-publicised delay to the Crossrail project will have come as frustrating news to many residents in our part of London.

Yesterday, 15:00

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 60, 40 and 20 years ago

Yesterday, 14:00

We talk to hundreds of local business owners every day; we hear their concerns, understand their challenges and share in their successes.

Yesterday, 13:34

Officers forced entry to the address this morning (Saturday, September 22).

Most days we’re told we are too fat, too lazy and we have to do something about it. And that’s just from my friends.

Yesterday, 09:28

Rabbit hay was used to hide more than £10million worth of cannabis on a lorry stopped at the Dartford Crossing.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now