‘Milestone moment’ as Elizabeth Line train makes successful debut in new tunnels

The first of the Elizabeth Line trains made its debut journey on Crossrail’s new south east London tunnels last night.

With 10 months to go until the line officially launches, the new train represents the first journey to leave Abbey Wood as part of the Elizabeth Line.

The Class 345 EMU travelled from its start point through new tunnels at Plumstead Portal and continued under the Thames heading for Connaught Tunnel before returning to Abbey Wood.

It follows the energisation of the line by Crossrail engineers earlier this month, an event which had been pushed back from November of last year following electrical failures.

Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive of Crossrail, said: “The start of infrastructure testing is a major milestone moment. It’s testament to the men and women who have, and continue to, work tirelessly on the project that we are now welcoming the first Elizabeth line train that’s powered by the new overhead lines, into the tunnels.

“The Crossrail programme is now over 90% complete and this heralds the start of our works to bring together the new stations, track, power, signalling and trains ahead of the Elizabeth line opening in December."

This first journey signals the beginning of more rigorous testing across most of the Elizabeth Line, with one train initially used to test for any issues before more stock is introduced.

elizabeth line train makes successful maiden voyage across south east london 301051

Rail minister Jo Johnson said the journey was a “milestone moment” in the Crossrail project, which is expected to see 200 million passengers each year once it is launched.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “This is a hugely exciting moment in the construction of the Elizabeth Line. Everyone involved in Europe’s largest infrastructure project has done a wonderful job and it’s thanks to their hard work that we are another key step closer to running our first passenger service.

“When it opens later this year, the Elizabeth Line is going to transform travel across London and the South East, helping to improve the lives of millions of Londoners, stimulating much needed housing development across the capital, and providing a huge boost to our economy.”

Howard Smith, operations director for the Elizabeth Line, also commented: “This is a huge milestone for the project, nine years after construction first began. I’m thrilled to see the first train make its maiden voyage from Abbey Wood through the brand-new tunnels.

“Crucial testing is now underway to validate the safety and reliability of the Elizabeth line ahead of the launch. We look forward to welcoming customers onto our new railway this December, when their experience of travelling across London will be transformed for the better.”

The Elizabeth Line is set for a phased introduction beginning in December of this year, when services between Paddington and both Abbey Wood and Heathrow will begin alongside other services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

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RTG   26/02/2018 at 18:43

Any bets on how long it will take this thread to get from rolling stock to laughing stock? Wait for it...................

Frankh   26/02/2018 at 20:05

Well we could use displaced 318's from scotrail for extra capacity, they're nice and tuby shaped. We're off and runnin.

Andrew Gwilt   26/02/2018 at 20:35

Can’t wait to ride on them to Reading and Heathrow Airport. Been on some of the Class 345’s and the seats are very nice and comfortable.

Dandrew Wgilt   26/02/2018 at 21:09

Well Frankh we could also use the pacers for extra capacity on the all new crossrail along with the GOBLIN line displacing the new 710s elsewhere on the network. No even better let's use the AEC Routemaster double Decker buses instead...

Neil Palmer   27/02/2018 at 02:01

I think those who don't want to read Andrew's posts should just skip over them, you aren't forced to read them. I recall several months ago I believe Andrew mentioned he has Asperger's, in which case (now that you know) I would presume those taking the piss may feel a little ashamed of themselves and knock it off.

Andrew Gwilt   27/02/2018 at 02:02

Neil. Can we please move on. Thanks.

Nonsuchmike   27/02/2018 at 13:04

The question remains: which will come first? Full running on all parts of purple Crossrail, or a change of Government?

Lutz   27/02/2018 at 13:41

That wooden fencing shown in the picture; is that permanent or is it to be removed upon completion of construction?

Isambard Jean-Jacques Brunel   27/02/2018 at 15:06

Lutz, that looks like a noise barrier to me, so my suspicion is that it is part of the permanent works.

Boris   27/02/2018 at 18:31

Haha. Andrew’s even being nasty to people who are trying to help him out here.

Andrew Gwilt   27/02/2018 at 20:02

@Boris. And??

Neil Palmer   27/02/2018 at 21:33

Boris, I wouldn't call that nasty. 7 words, including my name, a "please" and a "thanks".

David Winter   27/02/2018 at 22:15

As an Aspie with a high-function Autistic son, and an Aspie daughter, Andrew's contributions have always seemed to fit the suggested diagnosis. I'm with Neil on this. But may I add that with the Syndrome comes challenges in dealing "gracefully" with challenges and attacks. It seems this forum is one Andrew has a special focus on, and within that, a particular bent about rolling stock classes, allocations and movements. So, as an Aspie, can I ask that we not "bait" or "troll" Andrew, and accept that he might not receive humorous asides as such. And Andrew, can I ask that you not treat the forum as a conversation - maybe stick to your thoughts about the article, and not to what others write. 😀😀

Simon Eames1990   27/02/2018 at 23:45

Very good to hear that an 345 Aventra run under it's own power in the tunnels. Crossrail is the best rail transformation for Lonodon since the Jubilee Line extension nearly 20 yrs ago now.

Simon Eames1990   28/02/2018 at 00:02

Yet again many comments here are people arguing with each other again. This time over Asperger's. I do have Aspies and minor OCD, many of you keep commenting to each other like it's Facebook. I'm not choosing sides. I'm just over the moon with this Crossrail update.

Andrew Gwilt   28/02/2018 at 01:20

Whatever. I'm done with arguing. Carry on giving more grief at me. Because I just ignore every crap that has been posted.

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