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Testing and Commissioning

Dynamic Testing _August 2019_325743

Opening any railway is a massive job. The Elizabeth line is a complex railway with new stations, new infrastructure, new tracks and new trains, it is therefore important that every element of the Elizabeth line goes through a rigorous testing and commissioning process to ensure it is safe, reliable, performs as expected and is maintainable.


  • Phase 1 - Factory acceptance and off-site tests
  • Phase 2 - Static tests per system​
  • Phase 2.1 - Intermediate static tests
  • Phase 2.2 - Pre-commissioning static tests
  • Phase 2.3 - System static tests
  • Phase 3 - Static integration tests
  • Phase 4 - Dynamic testing
  • Phase 4 - System Integration Dynamic Testing (SIDT)
  • Phase 5 - Trial Running

PHASES 4 & 5

The Dynamic testing phase started in February 2018 and verified that the design and installation of the railway matched the system requirements, and that all the main systems interfaced with the train as expected, so the overall railway worked as per the design. A maximum of 4 trains could operate in the Central Operating Section between Paddington and Abbey Wood, and only during specific 8-hour test blocks. 

SIDT started in December 2020 and was a form of system testing with trains emulating a passenger service, exercising the functionality of the signalling, trains and interfaced systems, controlled by the Crossrail Testing and Commissioning team. There was a gradual build-up of trains per hour, up to 12 trains per hour which operated in the Central Operating Section, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In March 2021 the Crossrail project moved from following construction regulations to following Rail regulations. The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (ROGS) applied for the first time in the Central Operating Section and Trial Running began in May 2021. During Trial Running, there was a gradual build-up of trains per hour to 12, which was the same frequency as when the Elizabeth line launched in May 2022. Specific scenarios during Trial Running involved running up to 22 trains per hour. From the start of ROGS, the railway was operated and maintained by the Transport for London and Rail for London teams at the Route Control Centre and maintenance depot.    


Testing Manager Daniel O'Connell explains in this video how Crossrail had to complete testing of the technical railway systems, known as Dynamic Testing, before intensive trials to simulate the full railway service, known as Trial Running could commence.


Testing & Commissioning Manager David O’Connell explains how Crossrail has started System Integration Dynamic Testing, the enabling phase for Trial Running, which sees the number of test trains in the new tunnels increase from the current four to eight.

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