03:24PM, Friday 10 January 2020
Full services across the Elizabeth Line from Slough will commence 'by mid-2022', Crossrail announced today.
Crossrail has issued its latest update on progress to complete the line and also confirmed its plans to open the central London section between Paddington and Abbey Wood in summer 2021.
This latest forecast is based on the progress with 'completing software development for the signalling and train systems' along with 'safety assurance for the railway' - so that operational testing can begin in 2020.
Following the opening of the central section, full services from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will commence by mid-2022.
Mark Wild, chief executive at Crossrail Ltd said: "We continue to make good progress with the central section now reaching substantial completion.
"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, but there are no shortcuts to delivery of this hugely complex railway.
"Our latest assessment is that Elizabeth line services through central London will commence in summer 2021 but we are aiming to open the railway as soon as we can.
"This forecast assumes a period of time will be required to undertake intensive operational testing.
"The key focus for everyone on the Crossrail project is commencing intensive testing of the Elizabeth line as soon as we can in 2020, to enable passenger service as early as possible in 2021.”
Crossrail's cost forecasts show that the project will be delivered within the additional funding range announced in November 2019.
This indicated a range of between £400million to £650million more than the revised funding agreed by the Mayor, Government and Transport for London in December 2018.
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