With 2021 well underway, it’s little more than a year until the Elizabeth Line’s projected opening in the first half of 2022. Given that this finish post is metaphorically just around the corner, one would expect Crossrail machinery to be all systems go.
Is it? Recent updates on the project lack conviction that this is the case. Crossrail boss Mark Wild continues to reassure that all is moving forward according to his programme, but behind the scenes there is pressure on resources. Progress is being made, but this seems slower than it should be at this stage.
So what progress is there to report? Systems Integration Dynamic Testing (SIDT), the enabler for the crucial Trial Running phase, which consists of intensive operational testing of the new railway, continues. This has revealed issues that need to be rectified – but then that was to be expected. A further version of signalling and train control software has been prepared and is expected to address the problem areas.
When it comes to the handover of Crossrail sites to infrastructure manager Transport for London, the shafts and portals have now all been transferred. But that’s not the case for the stations: Farringdon is finished but, as reported last month and the month before that, it is enjoying an extended celebration of this milestone. As Modern Railways went to press the formal handover to TfL had yet to happen.