The idea of an east-west railway under the capital has existed as a concept in modern times since just after the London Blitz, when – with reconstruction in mind – plans started to be considered for a variety of mainline underground metro railways across London.
An east-west line was part of these plans but the route through central London was not defined until the 1989 Central London Rail Study. After an initial attempt to gain powers in the early 1990s the current scheme was developed by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) starting in 2001, with the Crossrail Hybrid Bill submitted to Parliament in 2005 and Royal Assent achieved in 2008.
In December 2008 the project organisation was reconstituted as Crossrail Limited, a subsidiary of TfL, and directed to deliver the scheme through a series of agreements with TfL and the DfT as joint sponsors and with the involvement of other partner organisations such as Network Rail.
For further information on Crossrail's history and Royal Assent, please visit our History section of the website.