After years of delays and major setbacks, the Crossrail project has reached its crescendo with the opening of the Elizabeth Line, with passengers able to utilise the train services available.
The opening was met with great enthusiasm with over 300 people gathering outside Paddington Station, hoping to take part in the first service. This service departed from the station at 6.33am, with a plethora of train enthusiasts soaking in the historic moment. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was present for the departure, commenting about his own excitement, likening himself to:
“The little boy before Christmas.”
The line itself creates a better interlinking from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London, to Abbey Wood in the southeast of the city and Shenfield in Essex. This linking will slash many journey times across the capital.
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has welcomed it as a "bold" project which will boost rail's future and drive economic growth for the entire country. The RIA represents over 300 rail businesses around the UK, many of whom were involved in the construction and operation of the new Elizabeth line.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), commented:
“The Elizabeth line really is an exceptional achievement for TfL, Government, and the UK railway industry. It is a bold project that will not only transform how passengers travel across London, but it will also boost economic growth for the capital and the country as a whole.
“Railway businesses from all over the UK have played a key role in making this landmark project happen, whether train manufacturing in Derby, station construction in the East Midlands, signalling expertise from Chippenham and Stockport, or telecoms in London. Furthermore, the scheme has supported thousands of skilled railway jobs and significant investment in other parts of the economy beyond rail.
“With passengers now returning there is a strong long-term future for rail, and the Elizabeth line will make that future even brighter.”
Though the project has been delivered three-and-a-half years late, pushing the budget over by £4bn, transport bosses will hope the success of the line echoes Boris Johnson’s estimations of a £42bn boost to the whole country.
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