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Handover and Operating The Railway

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The project began working with the Elizabeth line service and infrastructure teams in 2017 to familiarise operations and maintenance staff with the new railway.

A key challenge throughout the programme was the volume of handover assurance and documentation that had to be completed to enable the railway to be brought into passenger operation.

The assurance regime for the Elizabeth line is complex and required the integration of 500,000 individual railway assets such as public address systems, smoke alarms and CCTV cameras which must undergo a series of safety checks before each one is issued with a safety document.

Nearly 200,000 documents needed to be completed as part of the assurance and handover process and safety certification for the Elizabeth line. The project team worked closely with the Office of Rail and Road for some time to ensure the smooth progress of authorisations. The ORR confirmed the green light for the Elizabeth line to open in May 2022


In May 2018, TfL began operations at the new, purpose-built train depot at Old Oak Common in a major delivery milestone for the Elizabeth line. The depot houses and maintains up to 42 of the Elizabeth line’s 70 trains at a time. The maintenance infrastructure at Old Oak Common plays a critical role in the day-to-day operation of the Elizabeth line. Old Oak Common is the first rail depot in the UK to introduce environmentally-friendly measures to this extent by fully integrating separate systems, which help TfL reduce its running costs and save over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year compared to if the depot was built without these energy sources.

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