London’s Crossrail announced that opening of the Elizabeth Line has been put back by nine months to accommodate completion of final infrastructure and testing of the new railway line.
Stretching over 60 miles from Reading in the west to Shenfield in the east, the Elizabeth Line was scheduled to open in December 2018 but will start a full service in autumn 2019.
Chief executive Simon Wright said more time is needed to complete testing on the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
“The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages,” he said.
“We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth line.”
It added that more time is needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and to develop railway systems software. Testing is in progress but more time is needed to complete the full range of integrated tests.
“The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages.”
When the central section of the Elizabeth Line opens, the railway will initially operate as three separate services made up of Paddington (Elizabeth Line station) to Abbey Wood via central London, Paddington (mainline station) to Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4, and Liverpool Street to Shenfield.
Once up and running, the Elizabeth Line is expected to add 10 per cent to central London’s rail capacity.
What is the new Elizabeth Line?
The new Elizabeth Line is what developers and Londoners have known as Crossrail, the high-speed rail service intended to bring increased capacity to the capital’s transport system. It was officially renamed by then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson in honour of the Queen, in a ceremony at Bond Street Station
How far will it run?
The line will link parts of Berkshire with Buckinghamshire and Essex when it is fully open, running more than 60 miles from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Reading and Heathrow in the west, including a 13 mile stretch underground through central London.
When will it open?
The central London section of the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Abbey Wood will now open in autumn 2019.