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Crossrail Project Update

By Crossrail Ltd

Crossrail Project Update

A new plan to complete the outstanding works and bring the Elizabeth line into passenger service at the earliest possible date has been developed by the new Crossrail leadership team. This provides Londoners with a realistic and achievable plan to complete the Elizabeth line.

The high-level plan to complete the railway has progressed into a logically linked and detailed Delivery Control Schedule. Around 120 key milestones have now been identified and are being tracked.

Fit-out of the tunnels is almost complete with minor works remaining. By the end of the year, final fit-out and testing and commissioning is due to be completed at many stations. This will allow the new stations and rail infrastructure to be integrated with the rest of the railway. During 2020 we will undertake testing of the completed railway including an extensive period of trial running and trial operations to build absolute confidence in the safety and reliability of the whole system before opening to the public.

Due to the complexity of the remaining work, Crossrail Ltd has identified a six-month delivery window between October 2020 and March 2021 for the start of Elizabeth line services through central London.

As the programme to complete and test the railway progresses, Crossrail Ltd will be able to provide increasing certainty about when the Elizabeth line will open.


Central Section Progress

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Each Elizabeth line station has over 50 km of communications cabling, 200 CCTV cameras, 66 information displays, 200 radio antennas, 750 loudspeakers and 50 help points. All this technology needs to be fully installed, tested and integrated.

The key priority for the programme is to ensure that all stations in the central section have reached a level of completion that will allow the trial running phase to commence and the operational railway to be fully tested.

All work to interface test the platform screen doors is now complete and all the low voltage and lighting systems in the routeway, excluding those powered by Bond Street station, are now ready for further integrated testing.

The handover of Victoria Dock Portal, Pudding Mill Lane Portal and Mile End Shaft to the Infrastructure Manager, which was delayed from July due to discovering additional complexities, is on course to be achieved later this month.


Main Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing of the trains in the tunnels remains underway using 4 x class 345 trains. A key purpose of testing is to identify and fix any software bugs in the train control system and to make sure everything works as planned.

Crossrail has established a joint team of technical experts from Bombardier Transportation, Siemens and Crossrail to further drive forward a coordinated approach to dynamic testing. The co-located joint team of senior influential technical experts meet daily to help ensure we achieve an integrated, safe and reliable railway.  This also ensures they are able to quickly find solutions to any integration issues that could previously have taken days or weeks to resolve.

Testing currently takes place for 4-days each week and safety approval was obtained in July to proceed with close-headway, multi-train testing with the latest software configuration. Testing of the current train and signalling configurations have also continued at the Crossrail Integration Facility in Chippenham.


Operational Readiness

Operational Readiness

In July we were able successfully introduce the first nine care (full-length) train on TfL Rail passenger services in the west between Hayes & Harlington and Paddington. This was an important step in operating the full-length trains which will be used for future opening stages of TfL Rail and the Elizabeth line.

Maintenance teams have now moved into their new Maintenance Management Centre at Plumstead. The teams continue to support the project with track inspections and are still working towards a programme of increased support and familiarisation ahead of taking over the Central Operating Section.


Network Rail

Route Map

Network Rail continued delivery of infrastructure works required for Stage 5A and the start of TfL Rail services between Paddington and Reading in December 2019.

Platform extensions at West Drayton are on target to be completed by the end of August, whilst extensions at Slough and Maidenhead are forecast for completion by the of September.

Previously reported delays to the installation of driver’s CCTV at Burnham, Taplow and Langley have been reviewed with Network Rail and an action plan has been put in place for approvals before the end of August. Design issues at Ealing Broadway have also been resolved, whilst works at Ilford and Romford stations are forecast for contracts to be awarded at the end of August.