Crossrail opening delayed until 2021

The project was due to be completed in 2018

Friday, November 8, 2019

The opening of London's Crossrail has faced further delays, and will now not open until 2021.

The railway was initially due to be completed by December 2018, but this date was missed due to a series of problems.

Europe's biggest-ever infrastructure scheme is now set to go another £650 million over its £15.9 billion budget, set in 2007.

The total spend on the project could now reach £18.25 billion, according to Crossrail Ltd chief executive, Mark Wild.

A new plan to open between October 2020 and March 2021 was announced in April.

Crossrail Ltd said there are four "major tasks" that must be completed before services can begin.

They include a trial run of the trains for thousands of miles and building and testing software to integrate the trains with signalling sytems.

The railway will be known as the Elizabeth Line when it launches.

The first part of Crossrail to open will be the central section, with trains running between Paddington and Abbey Wood via central London.

Full services from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will commence "as soon as possible", Crossrail Ltd said.

Caroline Pidgeon, who chairs the London Assembly's Transport Committee said the delay and increasing cost of the project was "appalling news for Londoners".

"The delay creates huge issues for many businesses that have made investment decisions based on its original opening date of December 2018," she said.

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