Crossrail opening ‘might be delayed until spring 2021’

21 Avril, 2019, 01:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Crossrail workers

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Crossrail headways are meant to be no more than 2.5 minutes during the peaks between Whitechapel and Paddington, and when the contract for central section signalling was awarded to a consortium of Siemens and Invensys Rail in November 2012, Crossrail had said: 'Crossrail will be adopting a Communications Based Train Control signalling system as it is technically and operationally proven and is successfully used by many metro systems around the world'.

A senior source told the BBC that the flagship London rail project could be delayed until 2021. Since then, it has become clear that the programme will be delayed by at least a year and forecast costs have potentially grown by almost a fifth.

Much of that additional money has been lent to Transport for London by the Government.

A DfT spokesman insisted it "consistently challenged the leadership of Crossrail Ltd" on the delivery of the project.

PAC chair Meg Hillier said "serious risks" remained with the programme, and pointed out that a revised schedule and cost for completing the work were "still to be agreed".

The project, which has been handed £2.8bn extra since starting, will create a new east-west railway through London and beyond.

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A new target is set to be revealed by Mark Wild, the Transport for London chief executive, next week.

A best and worst range will be set, with the earliest date being spring 2020. A middle case scenario is an opening of summer 2020.

Known as the Elizabeth Line, the subterranean railway between Reading in Berkshire and Shenfield in Essex was originally planned to open in December 2018. It will be called the Elizabeth Line when services are operational.

Paddington and Bond Street are the furthest behind.

However, any meaningful "opening" of the project would need to involve the cross-London services that are the project's core objective.

But sources within the project have said the current phase of testing - known as dynamic testing - was "proving more hard than was first thought".

In comments to The Independent, a spokesperson for Crossrail said: "London needs the Elizabeth line completed as quickly as possible and brought into service for passengers". The line's 10 new stations are at differing stages of completion, however.

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