Transport for London chief Andy Byford targets Christmas opening of delayed Crossrail project

Ross Lydall
·1-min read
<p>The official timeline is for Crossrail’s central section linking Liverpool Street, Abbey Wood and Paddington to open in the first half of next year</p> (Getty Images)

The official timeline is for Crossrail’s central section linking Liverpool Street, Abbey Wood and Paddington to open in the first half of next year

(Getty Images)

London’s transport commissioner has set himself the goal of getting Crossrail open by Christmas, the Evening Standard can reveal.

Andy Byford is spending his days focused on the twin challenges of getting the long-delayed, over-budget line open slightly ahead of the latest estimate, while encouraging passengers back onto the Tube and buses.

The official timeline is for Crossrail’s central section linking Liverpool Street, Abbey Wood and Paddington to open in the first half of next year.

Trial running has begun with four trains an hour and Mr Byford is driving his team daily to get the £19 billion line open as soon as possible, with December 24 earmarked as a possible opening date.

However testing has to increase to 24 trains an hour with the final integration of the software that allows trains to communicate with the signals.

However, each stage requires sign-off by the Office of Rail and Road regulator, and the nine new stations are only gradually being completed.

Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild told the London Assembly: “Trial running is vital to unlocking the pathway to passenger service.”

Read More

Travel curbs come into force as India added to ‘red list’

Last flight from India lands at Heathrow ahead of ‘red list’ curbs

Heathrow refuses requests for extra flights from India

How to style 5 key pieces from the BOSS x Russell Athletic collection