Let’s be honest, nobody expected the Crossrail to open on time – but 2020?!
It was only in July that we brought you the news of the Crossrail’s official opening date, which, had everything gone to plan, would mean we’d be riding the tracks right now. Then, just a month later, it was announced that the opening would be delayed by about nine months. Now, two days after its original opening date, we’re telling you that, although no new date has officially been set, it’s not looking likely until at least 2020.
The route, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line, has not only delayed its launch date, but is also expected to cost more than £2bn over budget. To make matters worse, New Civil Engineer also reported yesterday that TfL will have to pay an annual charge of £15M to the Canary Wharf Group if the district’s Crossrail station is not complete by 2021.
Important parts of the train line’s infrastructure have not yet been completed, including a number of stations and tunnel interiors. The signalling system will also need to be tested for reliability and safety before it can carry passengers.
The delay won’t affect parts of the route that are already open—from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, and Paddington to Hayes & Harlington—but it does delay the central London section of the line. Which, frankly, is the bit we all care about.
Eventually, in who knows how many years, the Elizabeth line will carry passengers all the way from Reading and Heathrow, right through the West End, and out towards Stratford and beyond. But it looks like Elizabeth will have to wait to rule over the tube map.
Featured image: James Kevin Wood via Flickr