From the Experts
Network Rail sells 5,000 of its arches to fund upgrades
In August, Crossrail announced a delay to its eagerly anticipated opening, which was due to take place in December. Its revised deadline is now autumn 2019, after it transpired that more work than previously expected was required to complete the infrastructure and necessary testing.
The project also required extra funding, with the UK Government delivering a bailout financing package with loans of up to £2.05bn, meaning that the total bill for Crossrail could reach £17.6bn, instead of the £14.8bn it was expected to initially cost.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan:
“I haven't hidden my anger and frustration about the Crossrail project being delayed. This has a knock-on consequence of significant additional cost to the project. It has been increasingly clear that the previous Crossrail Ltd leadership painted a far too optimistic picture of the project's status.”
“Crossrail Ltd's announcement of the delay to the Elizabeth line is extremely disappointing and, only now, is the scale of what is yet to be completed becoming clear. The confirmation of this funding agreement will now allow Crossrail Ltd and its new leadership to focus on finishing the remaining construction work on the stations and tunnels and then completing the vital safety testing in order to open the railway for passengers as quickly as possible.”
Mike Brown, London's Transport Commissioner:
Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Ltd:
“Since I joined Crossrail Ltd in November I have been reviewing the work still required to complete the core stations and rail infrastructure and begin the critical safety testing. It is evident that there is a huge amount still to do. Stations are in varying stages of completion and we need time to test the complex railway systems. This means that I cannot at this stage commit to an autumn 2019 opening date.”
Tony Meggs, Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and next chair of the Crossrail project:
“My number one priority will be to work with the Board and Executive team to ensure this project is completed as soon and as safely as possible. The UK is renowned for its outstanding engineering and expertise in major projects and I'm confident that we will deliver a world class project that will benefit the country for generations to come.”