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Crossrail doubles its test trains to replicate full service on the Elizabeth Line

Image credit: Dreamstime

Crossrail has doubled its number of test trains and will use them to simulate a full service across the upcoming Elizabeth Line’s central section.

Crossrail now has eight trains available - a twofold increase on the four they were using for previous tests - which will complement the recently completed software testing phase of the programme.

Delivery of the Elizabeth Line is now in its final stages, with the remaining infrastructure being worked on so that Crossrail can begin 'Trial Running' at the “earliest opportunity” in 2021.

Signalling and control of the railway will all take place from the new control centre at Romford. Drivers will be operating a maximum of eight trains, simulating a timetabled service across the Elizabeth Line central section.

The Elizabeth Line was initially due to be completed in December 2018, but has been repeatedly delayed and is significantly over budget. It is now not expected to open until the first half of 2022.

Last week, Crossrail was given nearly £1bn in additional funding by Transport secretary Grant Shapps to plug the monetary shortfall.

Mark Wild, chief executive, Crossrail Ltd, said: “This is an incredibly important milestone for Crossrail to reach and puts us firmly on the journey to unlocking 'Trial Running' next year. We are doing everything possible to deliver the Elizabeth Line as safely and as quickly as we can and we know that Londoners are relying on the capacity and connectivity the Elizabeth Line will bring.

“This milestone also marks the incorporation of our Romford control room colleagues into the testing process, another sign that we are moving ever closer to our final goal of an operational railway.”

Crossrail said that all the central section stations are now certified as ready for Trial Running after Bond Street achieved this in October. Custom House station has already been handed over to TfL and Farringdon station is due to be handed over early in 2021.

When fully open, the Elizabeth Line will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, able to carry more than half a million passengers per day and will support new journeys through central London out to Essex and Berkshire.

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