Crossrail Central Section Won’t Open Next Summer

Despite the announcement that the central Crossrail section between Paddington and Abbey Wood would open by the summer of 2021, there are now further delays.

The project, which has been marred by delays, has experienced a further setback due to COVID-19. Physical activity on sites had to be paused, causing the project to lose time that it cannot make up.

Crossrail will have to do additional work on its detailed recovery plan, which requires creating a new timetable for the outstanding works. It also requires a comprehensive assessment of the financial ramifications of COVID-19 on the project. As things stand, work on the project is continuing.

A Crossrail Class 345 train at Paddington
A Crossrail Class 345 train at Paddington

Crossrail Ltd says it will publish a more detailed update in the near future.

Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Ltd, said:

“We are striving to commence intensive operational testing for the Elizabeth line, known as Trial Running, at the earliest opportunity. Our focus right now is on completing the remaining infrastructure works so that we can fully test the railway. Crossrail will undertake a period of intensive construction activity starting this August across the tunnels, portals and shafts to help recover lost time and complete the remaining construction works for Trial Running as we progress towards this next important phase.”

Crossrail had to halt construction works as well as dynamic testing in the tunnels on 24 March but has since resumed works, albeit at a reduced level. Physical activity on the project started up on 15 June, while dynamic testing resumed on 30 May. Much of the remaining works are nearing completion along with software testing for the signalling and train systems.

Trial Running will involve several trains running in the tunnels to fully test the timetable while the final works to the stations are being completed.

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