22 APRIL 2019
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Crossrail, the project to build a new east-west railway underneath central London, could be further delayed until 2021, according to the BBC last week. The report emerged from a senior source associated with the programme, the company said.
The project, officially called the Elizabeth Line, is planned to run between Reading and Shenfield in Essex and had been due to open last December. This date was then put back.
Crossrail said testing of the trains and signalling was "progressing well" but the sources told the BBC this phase - known as dynamic testing - was "proving more difficult than was first thought". The source said: "It all depends on how dynamic testing goes between now and the end of this year.
According to the BBC, the source reckoned with the current state of the project in mind, a "best case scenario" would be the new Elizabeth Line opening in spring 2020. A "middle-probability case" would be next summer and "a worst case is the spring of 2021."
One reason for the uncertainty is work to match a new signalling system with software on the new trains is still ongoing, while stations along the route are incomplete with Paddington and Bond Street are the furthest behind.
Readers must be aware that BTN has campaigned for a station to be incorporated at Silvertown for London City Airport, the terminal entrance just over 100m away. It is simply ludicrous that the only airport completely in London is not connected to the line initially due to political meddling and later intransigence by Crossrail. BTN is professionally advised that a station can be added at little cost and minimum disruption to the much delayed project. The DfT has confirmed it is down to TfL to institute such a scheme. BTN says the Mayor should establish a urgent review if not for the airport but for Silvertown.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Barry Graham, Silver Spring, MD
I cannot believe it can take 2 years for what seems to be a fully built railway line to be put into service. I agree with your concerns about LCY. Have you lobbied your elected representative about it in addition to complaining about it here?
Graham Stephenson, UK
One cannot imagine that Crossrail will not be linked to London City Airport with a station at Silvertown. This will be an unforgivable and expensive failure.