Crossrail Could Be Delayed Until 2021

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Another day, another possible Crossrail delay.

A senior source told the BBC it’s possible that London’s new railway — that was due to open in late 2018 — now won’t start services until 2021. This is because dynamic testing of trains and signalling is proving more difficult than initially anticipated. Certain stations — such as Bond Street and Paddington — are also significantly behind schedule.

However, 2021 is only a worst case scenario according to this source. If testing goes well between now and the end of 2019, an opening date of spring 2020 is achievable. A middle case scenario is an opening of summer 2020. Although neither Crossrail nor TfL have officially announced that the delayed 2019 launch date won’t be reached, it’s been hinted at for many months.

For Crossrail’s part, it claims that testing is “progressing well”.

When will Crossrail open? Image: TfL

There are other negative rumblings for Crossrail in railway circles, including rumours that TfL’s ambitions to open the Reading to Paddington section of the line at the end of this year won’t come to fruition. Similarly it’s notable that the new Class 345s still aren’t running to Heathrow. That’s despite an estimate by Howard Smith, TfL’s Operations Director for the Elizabeth line saying he expected it would open in “early 2019“.

Whatever happens next, we highly doubt this is the last news story we write on a Crossrail delay.

Last Updated 18 April 2019

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