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Crossrail Project Update

By Crossrail Ltd

The Elizabeth line opened on Tuesday 24 May 2022 with a new service between Paddington and Abbey Wood. TfL Rail services from Reading and Heathrow to Paddington mainline, and Shenfield to Liverpool Street mainline were also rebranded to the Elizabeth line on this day.

The railway has continued to receive an incredible reception, with over ten million passengers using the railway in its first two months of operation, travelling through the heart of London from Paddington to Abbey Wood.

The Elizabeth line has already started to transform travel across London and the South East through dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.

The line is a historic, once-in-a-generation addition to London’s transport network that is crucial to London’s recovery from the pandemic, helping avoid a car-led recovery by providing new journey options and supporting regeneration across the capital.

On 26 July, the project’s joint sponsors, Transport for London and the Department for Transport, together published the Elizabeth line benefits framework. This framework sets out how evidence will be gathered to establish whether the benefits and outcomes of the new railway are as expected. It will also help to ensure that the return on investment is being maximised – and establish lessons for future projects on how to deliver the best value for the local area.


SAFETY  

Operational safety performance across the Elizabeth line and overall Crossrail project safety remain good, with all the safety performance indicators currently better than the target. While the type and quantity of work being carried out by the Crossrail project is changing and reducing, leading to a natural decline in the risk profile of the project, there is absolutely no room for complacency, and safety will continue to be of the highest priority for the full duration of the project.


OPENING THE ELIZABETH LINE

Since opening on 24 May, the Elizabeth line has operated as three separate railways; in the east, west and through central London. Between Paddington and Abbey Wood, the new service operates at a frequency of 12 trains per hour, across a Monday to Saturday timetable. The next stage of the project remains on schedule for this autumn and will see services from the east and west run through the new stations in central London.

Bond Street station continues to make good progress and it is the only new Elizabeth line station where major work is continuing. Opening Bond Street station to customers remains a top priority with all efforts focussed on completion in the autumn, and it will open at the earliest possible time.

On Sundays and during engineering hours, work continues to allow a series of testing and software updates in preparation for moving to a higher intensity of services later this year. Full weekend closures took place on 11/12 June, and 30/31 July with another expected on 29/30 October. Using Sundays and some Saturdays helps us complete the next phase of the Elizabeth line this Autumn, enabling a much earlier near doubling of train service through the central section. Once the integration is complete, a Sunday service will commence in the central section.

Good progress is also being made on signalling, with software updates delivering consistent improvements. ELR201 was commissioned following the installation of ELR200 over the Easter blockade, restoring capabilities that had regressed under the ELR200 update. A further signalling software update ELR210 was implemented over the last weekend in July and this will be the final configuration in place for the commencement of the through-running services in the autumn.

Particular attention is being paid to the reliability of the transitions – for example, the transition at Stratford between the central and surface sections. This will be key to successfully implementing this next stage of opening.

Elizabeth line map May 2022


FULL ELIZABETH LINE SERVICES 

The start date for full Elizabeth line services remains linked to improved reliability growth, and successful commissioning of further upgrades to signalling and rolling stock software.

Services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield are on track to connect with the central tunnels in autumn, at which point frequencies will also be increased to up to 22 trains per hour in the peak, and 16 trains per hour off-peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.

The full Elizabeth line timetable of up to 24 trains per hour at peak between Paddington and Whitechapel, and 20 trains per hour off-peak is planned for May 2023. Delivering the railway in this final configuration will require alignment with National Rail timetable changes.

An important part of providing the full Elizabeth line service is the transition between the central section (Paddington to Abbey Wood) and the surface section at Stratford and Paddington. This transition needs to be highly reliable and work is underway with our signalling supplier to build this reliability to the required level.

The project remains on track to deliver the Elizabeth line in its final configuration by the end of May 2023.


SURFACE STATIONS 

Network Rail continues its station upgrades on the eastern section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, focusing on the completion of the station enhancement works at Romford and Ilford.

At Romford, customer lifts allowing step-free access to the Elizabeth line platforms are now open, with the new ticket hall expected to follow in August. At Ilford, work to replace the concrete slab is close to completion, and the target of opening the station by the end of summer remains viable. The station’s opening will be a major milestone for the project, as it will mark the provision of step-free access at all stations along the line.


OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE 

Performance on the Elizabeth line, which now includes the Central Operating Section between Paddington and Abbey Wood, has been good and this continues to be an important focus for the team. The average Elizabeth line Public Performance Measure (PPM) in Period 3 (29 May – 25 June 2022) across the three sections was 94.9 per cent, above a target of 94 per cent, with the overall Moving Annual Average trend reaching 94 per cent.

Performance on the east and west came in at 93.6 per cent and 93.7 per cent respectively during Period 3. PPM in the central section was 96.8 per cent, now well above the target at the opening of 95 per cent.

During the first half of Period 4 (6 June onwards), PPM for the whole of the Elizabeth line was again better-than-target at 95 per cent – which amounted to an industry-leading performance for the period.

At Old Oak Common Depot, all seven-carriage trains have been converted to nine-carriage units with the exception of a final four seven-carriage units needed to service shorter platforms in Paddington’s mainline station. These will remain in use until the autumn when services start running directly into the Elizabeth line central section.

First Class 345 9 Car Train to Heathrow_337728