Today (10 January) Crossrail Ltd issued its latest update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line.
They have confirmed their plans to open the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood in summer in 2021.
Following the opening of the central section, full service across the Elizabeth line route from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will commence by mid-2022.
Fit-out is nearing completion at many stations with all physical works complete in the tunnels, shafts and portals. Crossrail Ltd has increasing confidence that Bond Street will be ready to open with the rest of the central section.
This newest update is based on the current progress with completing software development for the signalling and train systems along with safety assurance for the railway so that intensive operational testing can begin in 2020.
This new line will link the eastern and western sections straight through central London. Already on 15 December 2019, Transport for London began running the stopping services between Paddington mainline and Reading ahead of the service becoming part of the Elizabeth line.
In November last year Crossrail Ltd confirmed that the Elizabeth line would open as soon as possible in 2021 and give Londoners a clearer idea of the delivery timetable in the early New Year.
Crossrail Ltd’s detailed costings continue to show that the project will be delivered within the additional funding range announced in November 2019. This indicated a range of between £400 million to £650 million more than the revised funding agreed by the Mayor, Government and Transport for London in December 2018.
Mark Wild, chief executive at Crossrail Ltd said: “I know that Londoners are deeply frustrated by the delays to the Elizabeth line and we are doing everything we can to get this railway finished and open. We continue to make good progress with the central section now reaching substantial completion and we are increasingly confident that Bond Street station will be ready to open with the rest of the railway.
“Our latest assessment is that Elizabeth line services through central London will commence in summer 2021 but we are aiming to open the railway as soon as we can. This forecast assumes a period of time will be required to undertake intensive operational testing. The key focus for everyone on the Crossrail project is commencing intensive testing of the Elizabeth line as soon as we can in 2020, to enable passenger service as early as possible in 2021.”