The top of the corporate chargeable for delivering the Crossrail undertaking says the primary passenger providers might begin in February 2022 – virtually three-and-a-half years later than initially deliberate.
Crossrail Ltd chief government Mark Wild advised the Public Accounts Committee of MPs the Elizabeth Line – which can run from Studying and Heathrow within the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wooden within the east by way of central London – was nearing the “gown rehearsal” stage.
That was regardless of further disruption to the £19bn undertaking from COVID-19, he mentioned.
“With the present schedule for the time being we’re within the part of trial working which is the penultimate stage of Crossrail earlier than we enter one thing referred to as trial operations.
“So the place we’re for the time being, 12 trains are working, we’re shaking the system down, this course of takes a number of months to shake up all of the faults out of it.
“On the similar time we’re doing the ultimate integration testing, and when them two issues culminate later in autumn, our trial operations will start which actually are the gown rehearsals.
“From the day we enter trial operations the opening of the railway is a brief variety of weeks away from that,” he advised the committee.
Crossrail had an authentic finances of £14.8bn and completion date of December 2018.
Nonetheless, it has been dogged by delays starting from development difficulties – largely in central London – by means of to testing.
It’s anticipated to open solely partially at first, with full providers working throughout the complete Elizabeth Line by Might 2023, in line with the federal government.
Mr Wild highlighted a £230m value hit to the undertaking from the pandemic thus far.
“The time impact of COVID might be impartial as a result of we did a fairly good job when the pandemic occurred, we have recovered all the manufacturing that we misplaced.
“So the impact of COVID on Crossrail has sadly been extra cost-pressure, which is in fact the very last thing we would wish.”