The independent London newspaper

Crossrail trains delayed by almost a year

'Investor confidence' not dented by station opening delay, says Paddington chief

07 September, 2018 — By William McLennan

Transport chiefs claimed stations would open  for Christmas 

CROSSRAIL has announced that the opening of the central London section of the service will be delayed until autumn 2019.

The Elizabeth line, running from Paddington through to Abbey Wood via Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, was due to open in December 2018. The £15.4billion project has been running for a decade.

Camden Council’s £35million West End Project began in March. It was intended to prepare the area of Tottenham Court Road for an influx of additional passengers at the opening of Crossrail. Camden Council said it would have no impact on the West End Project or “any other Camden scheme”.

Kay Buxton, director of Paddington Partnership, said: “Knowing the site as we do we did suspect there would be overruns.”

She said the delay was “obviously a disappointment,” but added: “It does not dent developer and investor confidence in Paddington.

“Paddington continues to be one of London’s fastest-growing commercial hubs, which
will only be boosted by a safe and reliable new railway opening in 2019.”

In March, Crossrail unveiled images of new ticket halls describing the allegedly almost finished, stations at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Farringdon as “dark and cinematic” and “champagne-coloured”.

In a statement, Crossrail said: “The revised schedule is needed to complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required to ensure the Elizabeth line opens as a safe and reliable railway.”

Simon Wright, Crossrail chief executive, said: “The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages.
“We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway. “We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth line.”

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