The Crossrail project will shortly achieve a major milestone. The first of the new trains will enter passenger service on the TfL Rail route between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
This is the first stage of the phased introduction of the new service that will be named the Elizabeth line when it opens through central London in December 2018.
The Elizabeth line is set to increase central London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent when it is fully operational. The accessible railway will serve 40 stations, with up to 24 trains per hour in each direction, giving an additional 1.5 million people better access to jobs and opportunities in London’s major employment centres.
Training of the new operations workforce is well underway. Drivers are familiarising themselves with the new trains and route, while apprentices are gaining experience working across the network. Crossrail’s purpose-built training facility, the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA), has now become part of the Transport for London family. Offering apprenticeships and training, the centre will support the next generation workforce for rail and tunnelling projects.
The Crossrail project is now 83 per cent complete. The programme is continuing with construction of stations progressing well across the route. Tunnels, shafts and portals are being fitted out with cables, ventilation fans and all the communication and signalling systems required to operate the railway.
The first of the platform screen doors have been installed at Paddington station. Bespoke to the Elizabeth line, these will separate passengers from tracks and provide safe and easy access onto the trains. Platform lighting and real-time digital travel information will help with onward journeys.
As the year goes on, we will see the stations and tunnels come to life. While there’s plenty to do to get ready for the Elizabeth line, the project will continue to share its lessons learned along the way. There are now nearly 500 case studies freely available on the Crossrail Learning Legacy website, with more on the way, for the benefit of future projects. Visit the Learning Legacy website for more information.
Howard Smith, Operations Director