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2019 a year of significant progress but more to do in 2020

By James Pritchard

2019 a year of significant progress but more to do in 2020
  • 2019 has seen significant progress towards completion of the Elizabeth line but there is still much work to do
  • Journey towards the critical Trial Running phase of trains in tunnels is well underway with the infrastructure largely complete
  • Challenges remain around software development, safety testing and systems integration but good progress continues to be made

Crossrail Ltd today issued its latest project update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line and confirmed that the central section remains on track to be substantially complete by the end of the first quarter next year with full testing of the railway to begin at the earliest opportunity during 2020.

Progress made on Crossrail during 2019 includes the handover of key pieces of completed infrastructure to Transport for London, the completion of fit-out work at many of the new stations and the completion of all physical work on the shafts and portals.

The organisation has been rebuilt by the new leadership team and now has a grip on the programme’s priorities and a firm plan in place to complete the railway.

Crossrail will be able to provide more detail on its delivery timetable early in the New Year but in this final update of 2019 Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild says good progress had been made during the year.

Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Ltd said: “The Crossrail project has made significant progress during 2019 with many of the stations now nearing completion and fit-out of the tunnels almost complete. We know we have much to do to win back the trust of Londoners but all our focus is on ensuring we deliver a railway that is safe, reliable and exceptional. I hope it will give the reassurance needed that this railway is now firmly back on track and will open as soon as practically possible in 2021.

“We have a robust plan to complete the Elizabeth line and the milestones we need to hit including the completion of software development, safety assurance and the testing of the signalling and train systems. Much progress has been made during 2019 thanks to the improved collaboration with the supply chain and contractors on the project and increased contractor productivity. There are no short cuts to completing this railway, we must do a proper job and complete the Elizabeth line to the highest standards of safety and reliability.”

Good progress continues to be made at Whitechapel and Bond Street stations with Whitechapel now meeting the requirements for Trial Running next year.

Farringdon has reached a sufficient level of completion to enable personal protective clothing to no longer be required in the majority of the site.

Fit-out of the tunnels will complete by the end of the January.Full testing of the railway will commence at the earliest opportunity in 2020 with testing of the signalling and train software currently underway in the central section. Network Rail is also delivering a key part of Crossrail and has completed all infrastructure works to support the commencement of TfL Rail services between Paddington and Reading on 15 December.


Notes to editors

Crossrail has made significant progress during 2019, delivery milestones reached also include:

  • Fit-out nearing completion at many central section stations and all platform screen doors fully commissioned
  • Hand over at the first two out of the 30 big engineering structures - Victoria Dock Portal and Pudding Mill Lane Portal
  • Tunnel Pump Drainage and Fire Mains have been fully commissioned in the routeway along with GSM-R, the communications radio system used by Network Rail
  • Close headway multi-train testing commenced for the first time and a co-located joint team of experts was established by Crossrail with senior technical experts from Bombardier, Siemens and Crossrail Ltd
  • Network Rail station enhancement works continue at Southall, Hayes & Harlington, West Drayton, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Acton Main Line and are on track for completion in late 2020
  • At Ilford and Romford, station enhancement works are ongoing and currently forecast for completion in December 2020 / early 2021
  • Progress continues with the Great Eastern Main Line traction power upgrade and the targeted completion date of May 2020, whilst contract awards for the station information security systems are in place for Harold Wood, Forest Gate, Goodmayes and Gidea Park, and anticipated for mid-2020 completion