Crossrail project will not open until 2021, cost of the project to reach £20bn

Published on : Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Crossrail project is expected to get delayed by more than two years and its costs is heading towards £20bn. The east-west link will be known as the Elizabeth line when it finally opens and it was supposed  to start functioning in December 2018.


However, Mark Wild, the chief executive of Crossrail stated that  it will open as soon as practically possible in 2021.



Reading and the Heathrow airport, west of the capital, will be linked through the line with Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in southeast London.



The journey times will be shortened and it will relieve congestion on the existing infrastructure by boosting the rail capacity in the capital by around 10 per cent.




In the original schedule the tunneling was finished in line but the completion of stations at Bond Street and Whitechapel is taking much longer than planned.


According to Mr Wild software and safety certification  were now the biggest blockages, Wild said that the two critical paths for the project remain software development for the signalling and train systems, and the complex assurance and handover process for the railway; both involve safety certification for the Elizabeth line.



It should be of the highest quality standard to make sure the reliability of the railways from day one of passenger service.



Further time will be required by the Crossrail Ltd to complete software development for the signaling and train systems and the safety approvals process for the railway.


In 2020, he said, that the trains will starts trails at the earliest opportunity. There is no short cuts to deliver the hugely complex railway and everything is being done to complete the Elizabeth line as quickly as they can. The Elizabeth line must be completed to the highest safety and quality standards.



Crossrail Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL). So far, in the 11 months since the line was due to open the transport authority has missed out on hundreds of millions of pounds of tickets revenue.


The TfL and the Department of Transport (DfT) will be requiring increased funding for the scheme.


Crossrail’s chief executive mentioned  that he project’s costs will increase due to programmer risks and uncertainties.

A range of between £400m to £650m is needed as per the latest projections then the revised funding agreed by the mayor, government and Transport for London December 2018.

The final bill might approach £20bn, the cost could can go as high as £18.25bn which intends a final bill approaching £20bn.  This is one-third higher than the original £14.8bn estimate.


Mr Wild’s predecessor as chief executive, Andrew Wolstenholme received a bonus of £481,000 for performance in 2015-16 and £160,000 for 2016-17.



MPs on the Public Account Committee (PAC) lambasted the former top executive at Crossrail for their ‘staggering’ overoptimism in July 2019 on when then troubled project would be completed.


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