Crossrail are in the midst of constructing the next major transport link for London and the surrounding area - the ambitious Elizabeth Line. This project has been going on for some time now, which was to be expected given the distance it aims to cover, but other disruptions have meant that the initial timings have been impacted.
For those looking for an update on the Elizabeth Line and where the next key milestones are, we have pulled together some useful information which will help shed some light on its current status.
Over the last few months, Crossrail has put an enormous effort behind getting the Elizabeth Line into a position where testing can begin. This has been completed during a particularly difficult period due to the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning that more risks and precautions needed to be factored in to prevent the project from being impacted further.
The 6-week construction blockade, working around the clock to finish key building work, came to an end in the final week of September. This made significant progress in recovering time which was lost during the pandemic and has moved things closer to the crucial testing phase.
From as early as possible in 2021, the Elizabeth Line will move into Trial Running. This will involve full dynamic testing of the line before it begins operating as a passenger service, checking the signalling and real-time service scenarios using the TR2 software to ensure it will run smoothly.
As of the September 2020 update from Crossrail CEO, Mark Wild, Crossrail Ltd is now aiming to start running the Elizabeth Line as a passenger service in the first half of 2022. This gives them some flexibility to ensure they can address any issues or snags before starting the service, but Crossrail want to do this as soon as practically possible.
There doesn't seem to be any impact of the scope of the project in terms of changing where the Elizabeth Line will operate to.
The Elizabeth Line will still run all the way from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east. Once the central section of the project has been completed, the Elizabeth Line will running the full service across this area and connect up with existing rail networks in place while improvements outside of the central section are made.
The Eastern and Western sections of the Elizabeth Line currently run on existing track networks that will be connecting up with the new rail to form the Elizabeth Line.
Crossrail will be making significant improvements to these existing networks and the infrastructure to bring it more inline with the new network at the centre of the line. This includes upgrade for both the track and signalling so the entirety of the Elizabeth Line will run smoothly.
Included in these improvements is the addition of new high-capacity trains which will operate on this route, with dedicated wheelchair space and separate multi-use space for buggies, luggage and bikes.
Each station on the line is currently being worked on to improve accessibility for the trains, as well as making the stations more appealing and safe. The stations are individual projects, meaning that their timings and requirements are all different. You can find a list of the improvements to Elizabeth Line stations on the TfL website, detailing what has been done so far and what's still to come.
Berkeley Group prides itself on keeping a finger on the pulse of major London news coverage which could be useful for informing property purchase decisions. The Elizabeth Line will make getting between Reading and London even easier, as well as many other locations along the way which will see greater appeal for those commuting into London. If you're thinking about moving home and want to prioritise transport links into London, then why not take a look at our properties in Berkshire or get in touch so we can help you find your ideal property. You can find our more news from Berkeley Group in our News & Insights section, or on the Berkeley Inspiration blog.