Transport for London has announced its intention to award the £1.4 billion, eight year contract to operate Crossrail services to MTR Corporation.
The contract will have an option to extend to ten years. MTR beat off competition from Arriva Crossrail, National Express Group, and Keolis/Go Ahead to win.
TfL say MTR will be a key partner in delivering the new Crossrail services, and is expected to employ around 1,100 staff with up to 850 new jobs. This will include almost 400 drivers and over 50 apprenticeships for people from communities along the route.
When Crossrail services are fully operational they will increase rail based transport in the capital by 10 per cent.
MTR will start running the services from 31 May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. They will be using the existing trains that currently operate on the route.
The trains and stations will all be cleaned and refreshed. The new operator will work closely with TfL, Bombardier and Crossrail Limited on the introduction of new trains which will begin entering service from 2017.
The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running from late 2019.
MTR has experience of working with Transport for London and, along with Arriva UK Trains, operate as LOROL to run London Overground services – now one of the most reliable railways in the UK according to statistics.