Crossrail’s board has met to consider the latest update from its leadership team concerning the impact of COVID-19 on progress to complete the Elizabeth line. This is now in its complex final stages with a comprehensive plan to complete the railway focused on completing the remaining construction and systems integration followed by intensive operational testing.
Due to a pause of physical activity on sites and significant constraints on ongoing work due to CoVID-19, time has been lost, only some of which can be recovered. As a result, the opening of the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood next summer, as announced earlier this year prior to COVID-19, is not achievable.
Further work is required on the detailed recovery plan which re-sequences the remaining work to complete the railway and fully assess the financial implications of COVID-19 on the programme. A more comprehensive update will be issued in due course. Meanwhile, work continues to refine and validate the remaining work schedule and associated costs.
Mark Wild, Crosrail chief executive said: “Everyone working on the Crossrail project knows London needs the Elizabeth line more than ever and we are doing everything possible to deliver the railway as safely and as quickly as we can. We have a comprehensive plan to complete the railway but existing schedule pressure, along with COVID-19, has impacted the programme and time has been lost. Further work is being undertaken to finalise our detailed recovery plan which re-sequences the remaining work.
“We are striving to commence intensive operational testing for the Elizabeth line, known as Trial Running, at the earliest opportunity. Our focus right now is on completing the remaining infrastructure works so that we can fully test the railway.
“Crossrail will undertake a period of intensive construction activity starting this August across the tunnels, portals and shafts to help recover lost time and complete the remaining construction works for Trial Running as we progress towards this next important phase.”