Crossrail delayed again until 2021 as costs rise another £650m

Crossrail is Europe's largest construction project an east-west railway link with tunnels under the centre of the capital

Crossrail is Europe's largest construction project an east-west railway link with tunnels under the centre of the capital

Caroline Pidgeon, who chairs the London Assembly's Transport Committee, said: "The further delays to the opening of Crossrail and increasing costs are appalling news for Londoners".

TfL said http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/htmlnews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20191108:nRSH7803Sa it had been advised by Crossrail Limited that the opening of the central section of the Elizabeth line would not happen in 2020, as planned under a revised timetable.

They have also identified the need for more funding to complete the complex testing of trains and manage the handover of the railway safely and reliably into passenger service. A more comprehensive update is expected early next year, but there's no chance of the line opening until 2021. The total cost of Crossrail was previously estimated at £17.6bn but the latest overrun means the cost of the project has risen to as much as £18.25bn from an initial budget of £15bn. It is in talks with Crossrail on how to finance the additional costs.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, publicly-owned Crossrail Limited (CRL) disclosed the latest projections show "even higher levels of risk of £650m more than the funding committed under the Financing Package".

TfL has agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT) that the Financing Package will remain in place.

"Our latest assessment is that the opening of the central section will not occur in 2020, which was the first part of our previously declared opening window".

The trains have been delivered and most of the new stations are close to completion, but work is ongoing on signalling software and train systems.

The railway will be known as the Elizabeth line when it launches.

It had previously been announced that Crossrail would open between October 2020 and March 2021.

When open, the line will connect destinations such as Heathrow in the west of the city to the rail hub of Paddington, central shopping districts Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, Canary Wharf in the east, and beyond.

CRL chief executive Mark Wild said: 'The Crossrail project has made good progress over recent months.

Mr Wild said he wants to "ensure reliability of the railway from day one of passenger service". We will provide Londoners with further certainty about when the Elizabeth line will open early in 2020.

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