Crossrail’s Chief Executive announces further delay to Elizabeth line opening
Mark Wild, Chief Executive of Crossrail Ltd has said the Elizabeth line will now not be fully open before 2021, explaining that further time is needed to complete software development for the signalling and train systems and the safety approvals process.
In April 2019, Crossrail Ltd outlined its new plan to complete the outstanding works with an expected delivery window between October 2020 and March 2021 for the start of Elizabeth line services through central London. But there are four major tasks that must be completed to enable the Elizabeth line to open:
- Build and test the software to integrate the train operating system with three different signalling systems
- Install and test vital station systems
- Complete installation of the equipment in the tunnels and test communications systems
- Trial run the trains over many thousands of miles on the completed railway to shake out any problems and ensure the highest levels of safety and reliability when passenger service begins.
Mark Wild, Chief Executive, said: “The two critical paths for the project remain software development for the signalling and train systems, and the complex assurance and handover process for the railway; both involve safety certification for the Elizabeth line. These must be done to the highest quality standards to ensure reliability of the railway from day one of passenger service. Crossrail Ltd will need further time to complete software development for the signalling and train systems and the safety approvals process for the railway. The Trial Running phase will begin at the earliest opportunity in 2020, this will be followed by testing of the operational railway to ensure it is safe and reliable.”
Mark continued: “Our latest assessment is that the opening of the central section will not occur in 2020, which was the first part of our previously declared opening window. The Elizabeth line will open as soon as practically possible in 2021. We will provide Londoners with further certainty about when the Elizabeth line will open early in 2020.
“Our detailed cost forecasts continue to show that the project’s costs will increase due to programme risks and uncertainties. The latest projections indicate a range of between £400 million to £650 million more than the revised funding agreed by the Mayor, Government and Transport for London (TfL) in December 2018.
“We are doing everything we can to complete the Elizabeth line as quickly as we can but there are no short-cuts to delivering this hugely complex railway. The Elizabeth line must be completed to the highest safety and quality standards.”