Elizabeth Line celebrates key milestone as track installation work completed

A major landmark has been reached by Crossrail today as it announced that it had completed permanent track installation work on the Elizabeth Line.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling joined deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross, Crossrail chairman Sir Terry Morgan and CEO Andrew Wolstenholme 35m below ground in one of Whitechapel’s new stations to see Ellen McGuinness, track quality control engineer, affix the final rail clips to the track.

It concludes a huge period of work that has seen 1,000 workers install 63,000 sleepers, 51,419 metres of rail and over 800 sections of Long Welded Rail (LWR), which make up the 50+km of Elizabeth Line track.

The line is currently operating between Shenfield and Liverpool Street in central London, with the rest of the network to be opened in stages between May 2018 and December 2019.

Crossrail tunnel

“The completion of the Elizabeth Line track is a huge milestone on the way to finishing a project that will transform transport across London and the South East,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.

“With brand new trains and step-free stations, the Elizabeth Line will provide a truly world-class service for passengers, and this important landmark is testament to the hard work and expertise of all the men and women who have been working on the project.  

“Alongside progressing plans for Crossrail 2, the completion of the Elizabeth Line will be vital for helping us deal with London’s growing population, it will boost jobs across the UK, and improve the quality of life for millions of people living and working in the region.”

Crossrail tunnel 2

Grayling added that the Elizabeth Line will transform rail transport in London with better and faster journeys for passengers.

“But this isn’t just a success story for London,” he explained. “Crossrail, Europe’s biggest construction project, has created jobs and driven economic growth across the UK with companies based here winning 96% of the scheme’s contracts.”

The landmark comes after a summer where Grayling was sharply criticised for backing Crossrail 2 in the same week that he cut three key electrification projects that would have been beneficial for the north of England.

Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman, stated: “The completion of the permanent track brings us another crucial step closer to the Elizabeth line opening in December 2018.

“We’re delighted to be officially marking this important milestone as it also signifies a great achievement for all the dedicated men and women who are working on the project.”

Howard Smith, Transport for London’s Elizabeth line operations director, commented that with just over a year to go until the Elizabeth Line opens, “the Crossrail project is now focused on the installation of platform screen doors, signalling, tunnel ventilation and communications systems along with the overhead lines that will power the new trains”.

RTM recently interviewed David Sherrin, senior project manager for rolling stock at TfL, in the latest edition about the new Elizabeth Line trains, which you can read online by clicking here.

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Peter   14/09/2017 at 15:36

Last night on BBC2 there was a good programme about Moscow. It claimed that they were building five new metro lines including 40 stations, to alleviate the road traffic jams in that European city. Is crossrail really the biggest project in Europe?

Melvyn   14/09/2017 at 19:57

So with Crossrail almost finished it is still on budget and time and yet I remember that before construction began the same arguments being made about HS2 were made by opponents of Crossrail re coming in late and at far greater cost ! Crossrail has proved how modern construction technology allows projects to be constructed in a far more efficient way especially tunnels and so when it comes to HS2 the same technology can be used for HS2 only the tunnels will be a little bit bigger and one thing going for HS2 is their won't be complicated stations built along tunnels like Crossrail had to contend with.

Andrew Gwilt   15/09/2017 at 00:16

Its coming along very nicely. Nearing its completion.

Andrew JG   15/09/2017 at 22:19

I can wait to see the Elizabeth Line open in 2019. It should be moved forward to Early 2019 instead of December 2019.

Chrism   16/09/2017 at 02:00

Andrew JG, there are good reasons for the published timescales. It is not so simple as you believe to speed these up - and it would cost the taxpayer a lot more money, Be patient, I've been waiting for this since the mid 1980s. Melvyn - I fully agree, Crossrail shows that our country can do spectacular projects on time and on budget. Roll on HS2.

Andrew JG   17/09/2017 at 07:58

Chrism. I agree.

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