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TfL announces shortlist of bidders to run Crossrail services

By TfL Press Office

Transport for London (TfL) today announced the names of the companies shortlisted to bid to run Crossrail services.

The bidders are:

  • Arriva Crossrail Limited
  • Keolis/Go Ahead
  • MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited
  • National Express Group PLC

The Invitation to Tender is due to be issued in September and an operator will be appointed at the end of 2014.

The successful train operator will start running the first services from May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Greater Anglia. The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running in 2019.

Howard Smith, Crossrail Director of Operations, said: “We are a step closer to appointing an operator for Crossrail. As our population grows faster than forecast, the case for stable and sustained investment in London’s transport network has never been stronger. Crossrail will help cut journey times across the city and will achieve internationally recognised high standards of reliability, train frequency and customer service. Crossrail will make it easier for people travelling across the capital, helping create jobs and supporting growth and regeneration along the route.”

When the Crossrail services are fully operational they will increase rail based transport in the capital by 10 per cent and along with the Tube upgrade ensure we can continue to move people efficiently around London. Crossrail will set the benchmark for passenger experience for European metro services. It will be integrated as part of the TfL network providing a fast, frequent service linking the east and west and relieving congestion on some of the busiest Tube lines. Passengers using Crossrail will see reduced journey times and the new stations will be integrated with existing London Underground, DLR and National Rail stations making it easy for passengers to change between services.


Notes to Editors:

  • All shortlisted bidder names are used by the respondents in the Pre Qualification Questionnaire.
  • Crossrail services will be let as a concession by TfL, similar to the concession let by TfL for London Overground, which is now one of the most reliable railways with some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction across the UK. 
  • Services to Shenfield will initially operate with the current rolling stock but will be gradually replaced in 2017 by the new Crossrail trains.
  • The Crossrail route will serve 37 stations and run 118 km (72 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) long tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
  • Crossrail Ltd is currently running a procurement process for new rolling stock for Crossrail. The procurement remains on schedule to deliver the fleet of new trains ready to carry passengers in May 2017. 
  • The exact opening strategy for Crossrail has not yet been finalised but the current planning assumption is that Crossrail services will be introduced as follows:
    • Heathrow to Paddington (mainline platforms) – May 2018 (when the Crossrail concession takes over the Heathrow Connect service)
    • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Abbey Wood – December 2018
    • Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Shenfield – May 2019
    • Full through service (including services to Maidenhead) – December 2019
  • The Crossrail project is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and TfL. 

TfL Press Office - 0845 604 4141