London's €21bn Crossrail delayed again - and could cost an extra €750m

11 Novembre, 2019, 03:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A construction worker wears a branded jacket at the site for the Crossrail station in Tottenham Court Road London

The full opening of Crossrail has been delayed yet again, it has been revealed this morning.

Transport for London (TfL) said it had been informed by Crossrail Limited of fresh delays in opening the capital's new flagship rail line connecting Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf financial district and that the project would need more cash.

He added: 'The two critical paths for the project remain software development for the signalling and train systems, and the complex assurance and handover process for the railway; both involve safety certification for the Elizabeth line.

It is expected to carry about 200 million passengers a year and alleviate pressure on London's 19th century underground network, known as the Tube. But amid program risks and uncertainties, the total price tag could now hit 18.25 billion pounds ($23.4 billion), way ahead of the original budget of 15.9 billion pounds in 2007. It is in talks with Crossrail on how to finance the additional costs.

Further modelling scenarios are also warning of the risk of even higher levels of risk of £650 million more than the funding committed under the Financing Package.

TfL said it had agreed with the Department for Transport that the financing package would stay in place and was in talks with the government on how to cover the extra costs.

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Mark Wild, chief executive of Crossrail Ltd, insisted services would begin "as soon as practically possible in 2021".

It says that the central parts of the line - Custom House, Farringdon and Tottenham Court Station - will be opened "as soon as practically possible" in 2021. "The Trial Running phase will begin at the earliest opportunity in 2020, this will be followed by testing of the operational railway to ensure it is safe and reliable".

It had previously been announced that Crossrail would open between October 2020 and March 2021.

"TfL has been advised by Crossrail Ltd that their latest assessment is that the opening of the central section will not occur in 2020, which was the first part of the previously declared opening window", TfL said.

"These must be done to the highest quality standards to ensure reliability of the railway from day one of passenger service".

The trains have been delivered and most of the new stations are close to completion, but work is ongoing on signalling software and train systems.

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