13 JANUARY 2020
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Elizabeth Line services between Paddington and Abbey Wood through central London are expected to start in summer 2021, according to the latest update from Crossrail last week.
The forecast is based on current progress being maintained with completing software development for the signalling and train systems along with safety assurance for the railway so intensive operational testing can begin this year.
For airport users, a bus connection is expected to be offered from Custom House (ExCel) for London City, while another beneficiary will be Southend with a simple change at Shenfield from Central London. Liverpool Street and Stratford for Stansted are more complex.
The company said following the opening of the central section, full services across the route from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will begin by mid-2022, connecting the eastern and western sections.
Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild said: “We have a comprehensive plan to complete the Elizabeth line and the milestones we must hit during 2020, but there are no shortcuts to delivery of this hugely-complex railway.”
■ The campaign, supported by BTN, to persuade Crossrail to reopen a station at Silvertown to serve London City Airport is still on. Expert opinion says it could be done within a six-month time frame at a cost of £50m. The final decision rests with London mayor Sadiq Khan. Will he institute a short independent inquiry?
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