01:03PM, Friday 17 January 2020
Crossrail has been hit by more delays – with full services from Slough now set to commence ‘by mid-2022’.
The line – linking the town directly with central London stations beyond Paddington – was meant to be completed in 2018.
The latest update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line sees full services from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, commence by mid-2022.
Crossrail added it hopes to open the central London section in summer 2021, with operational testing set to begin this year ahead of passenger operation.
Slough Borough councillor Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) said: “[The delay] will have an impact [on Slough] but that might be mitigated by the fact we are going to have this Western Rail Link to Heathrow. It looks like that may come in sooner than Crossrail.”
He added: “With all of these rail developments, they have got to be integrated into the existing capacity of that line.
“The more we put on, the less capacity there is for the existing traffic.”
Despite the delay SBC leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) said Crossrail is still a ‘significant opportunity’. He added: “While it’s regrettable, TfL have asserted that the central section of the line, adding new routes from Slough through into London, will still open in the summer of 2021.
“Crossrail remains a significant opportunity in our major regeneration plans and will further strengthen Slough as a key and well-connected town.”
Mark Wild, chief executive at Crossrail Ltd, said: "We have a comprehensive plan to complete the Elizabeth line, and the milestones we must hit during 2020, including the testing of the signalling and train systems and safety assurance.
“Our latest assessment is that Elizabeth line services through central London will commence in summer 2021.”
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