Monday, November 29

Transport for London confirms fresh delays to Crossrail opening



The opening of London’s Crossrail project has been delayed once again as the completion date was pushed back another six months to late 2021.

Transport for London confirmed today that the central London section would not open until Autumn 2021 at the earliest, meaning the whole project will be three years behind schedule.

The project, Europe’s biggest ongoing infrastructure scheme, has been cursed with delays and is now estimated to cost more than £18billion.

TfL commissioner Mike Brown told the London Assembly today that more time was needed to test trains before the scheme, to be called the Elizabeth line, could open.

Once up and running, the line will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Stage 4 of the scheme, in which trains coming from Shenfield begin running through the central tunnels, could take place in May 2022.

Meanwhile Stage 5, when trains from Reading/Heathrow come through the central tunnels, could take place in December 2022.

Today, a TfL spokesperson told MailOnline: The Crossrail team continues to make progress completing the railway and is moving forward with the complex testing of the signalling and train systems so that the railway can be handed over safely and reliably for passenger service.

As Crossrail Ltd previously announced, the Elizabeth line will open as soon as practically possible in 2021.

As part of our annual business planning process, we have made some prudent assumptions including that the central section of the railway could open in autumn 2021, but continue to support Crossrail Ltd in delivering the railway as soon as possible.

Crossrail Ltd continue to refine their delivery schedule and will provide an update in the coming weeks.

In November, Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild revealed that the cost of the railway could reach £18.25billion.

It would represent an increase of up to £650million on the previous funding total agreed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, the Government and Transport for London.