The Crossrail project has reached a significant milestone: trial running is underway on the central section.
Starting on 10 May, this phase of the project involves integrated trials of the railway to demonstrate that the Elizabeth Line is safe and reliable. Trial running must also prove that the railway meets the capacity and performance requirements needed to move to trial operations, the final phase before opening the railway; it is understood the aim is to enter this phase in the autumn. Crossrail Ltd says the central section of the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Abbey Wood is on course to open in the first half of 2022.
Initially four trains per hour are being operated, but as trial running progresses this is due to increase to first eight and then 12 trains per hour. Ahead of trial running commencing, the Great Western and Great Eastern main lines were fully integrated with the Elizabeth Line central section to form an operational railway ready for trains to run across the route.