Crossrail opening delayed by nine months

OPENING of the flagship Crossrail line through Central London between Paddington and Abbey Wood has been put back by nine months.

The hugely complex £16billion Elizabeth Line (EL) project to connect east and west London – and ease pressure on Underground services – had been due to open in December, but a combination of problems means the tunnelled section under the heart of the capital is not ready for Class 345 trains operating a 24 trains per hour service.

An intriguing mix of old and new as Class 345 No. 345017 passes Hanwell with the 15.47 Hayes & Harlington-London Paddington on August 29. CHRIS MILNER

Software-related signalling issues had previously prevented Class 345s working through to Heathrow Airport, where ETCS signalling Level 2 is used as an overlay to the signalling.

Last month Crossrail said trains were now being tested in the Heathrow tunnels.

Similar software difficulties are preventing trains running through the central core, where Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) moving block signalling will be used.

Additionally, more time is needed by contractors to complete the fitting out of the core tunnels, and this has compressed the original testing schedules.

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