A new plan to complete the outstanding works and bring the Elizabeth line into passenger service at the earliest possible date has been developed by the new Crossrail leadership team and agreed by the Crossrail Board.
Following a detailed audit of the programme, the new team say they have produced a robust and realistic plan to put Europe’s most ambitious and complex infrastructure project back on track. The new plan has required identifying and re-sequencing over 100,000 interdependent tasks and takes full account of exactly what is to be done and how long it will take.
As many risks and uncertainties remain in the development and testing of the train and signalling systems, Crossrail has identified a six-month delivery window with a midpoint at the end of 2020. Crossrail will be making every effort to deliver the service as early as possible.
The central section of the Elizabeth line will open between Paddington and Abbey Wood and link the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf and southeast London with initially 12 trains per hour during the peak.
It is expected that all stations on the route will open except for Bond Street which is delayed because of design and delivery challenges. Crossrail is working closely with Costain Skanska Joint Venture to ensure the station is ready to open at the earliest opportunity.
Once the central section opens, full services across the Elizabeth line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will commence as soon as possible.
There are four major tasks that must be completed. These are building and testing the software to integrate the train operating system with three different signalling systems, installing and testing station systems, completing installation of the equipment in the tunnels and testing communications systems, and trialling the trains over many thousands of miles on the completed railway.
Crossrail expects that the remaining fit-out and systems installation in the stations and tunnels will be completed i 2019. This will allow the new stations and rail infrastructure to be integrated with the rest of the railway. Crossrail also expects that Bombardier Transportation and Siemens will complete development of the train and signalling software this year allowing the train control system to be fully tested.
The central section works are expected to be delivered within the funding package agreed by the Mayor, Government and Transport for London in December 2018.
Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail, said: “This plan allows Crossrail and its contractors to put the project back on track.
“Crossrail is an immensely complex project and there will be challenges ahead particularly with the testing of the train and signalling systems but the Elizabeth line is going to be incredible for London and really will be worth the wait. This new plan will get us there and allow this fantastic new railway to open around the end of next year.”