Crossrail 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 is the volume of handover assurance and documentation that must be completed to enable the railway to be brought into passenger operation.
The assurance regime for the Elizabeth line is complex and requires 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 need to be completed as part of the assurance and handover process and safety certification for the Elizabeth line.
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 will house and maintain up to 42 of the Elizabeth line’s 70 new trains at a time. The maintenance infrastructure at Old Oak Common will play 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 will help TfL to 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.
Crossrail is currently completing the outstanding construction and assurance activities to enable the start of intensive operational testing, known as Trial Running, and deliver the opening of the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood at the earliest opportunity.
Once Crossrail completes the remaining programme of works for Trial Running, we will seek regulatory approval from the Office of Rail and Road to commence intensive testing. This will see multiple trains operating in the tunnels to simulate the Elizabeth line timetable.