Published: 8th July 2016
The £14.8billion Crossrail project is forging ahead and tracks have now been laid under London and the final fitting out phase is underway. The project has released pictures of London’s new railway and how the track has been laid.
Crossrail says that it expects the new Class 345 Bombardier trains to enter service in under a year starting in May 2017 between Liverpool Street (Main Line platforms) to Shenfield. A year later between Heathrow and Paddington (Main Line platforms).
December 2018 trains will run between Paddington through the tunnels to Abbey Wood. Then from May 2019 between Paddington through London to Shenfield followed in December 2019 by the full service linking Reading, Shenfield and Abbey Wood.
While Crossrail 1 enters its final phase, Crossrail 2 development work is now well underway and details on a consultation have just been released. Crossrail 2 proposes to connect with the National Rail network serving destinations as far apart as Broxbourne, Epsom, Chessington South, Hampton Court and Shepperton.
The scheme will need a new tunnel under London through central London between Wimbledon, Tottenham Hale and New Southgate. It will relieve pressure on the transport network across London and the South East, enabling 270,000 more people to enter central London every morning at peak time, and will drive the development of 200,000 homes and 200,000 new jobs.
Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail (NR) are working with the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop Crossrail 2 ahead of the next round of public consultation expected to take place this autumn. Subject to delivering on key recommendations made from the National Infrastructure Commission, a Hybrid Bill could be submitted in 2019 which could enable construction starting in the early 2020s, with the first Crossrail 2 service running in 2033.
TfL and (NR) have published a 74 page document detailing their initial response to a range of the issues raised by the public as a result of the latest consultation on Crossrail 2. This is the proposed north-south cross-London railway which as with Crossrail, will run under London in tunnels. The consultation attracted nearly 21,000 responses covering 40 subjects covering:
-Station locations, entrances and exits for the tunnelled section of the proposed route
-Locations of ventilation shafts for the tunnelled section
-Construction sites required to build the scheme
-Service patterns and changes to existing National Rail services
TfL and NR continue to work on the complex challenges, many raised by respondents which include tackling the more ‘popular’ issues mentioned in the consultation feedback. The exercise was requested as a recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission after being instructed by the Government to review the scheme.
The final route is yet to be decided for Crossrail 2 and the consultation will help to further develop he scheme. In particular, decisions about minimising the impact locally around stations at Wimbledon, Balham, Tooting Broadway, King’s Road Chelsea plus which stations should be served on the New Southgate Branch needs to be made.
One example of this is at Clapham Junction where respondents suggested an additional entrance on St John’s Hill to improve access.
Michèle Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Crossrail 2, said: “Taking into account the views of people along the length of the proposed route is an integral part of our design process for Crossrail 2. It helps ensure we can design a railway that not only meets the strategic needs of the scheme but the local needs of the people it will serve.
“Crossrail 2 is absolutely vital to meet the increasing demands of the rapidly growing population of London and the South East. It will also help support hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs across the region. We will continue to work in partnership with local communities in the months and years ahead so that we maximise these benefits and preserve and enhance areas along the proposed route.”
Chris Curtis, Network Rail’s Head of Crossrail 2, said: “The responses to the consultation are helping us develop our proposals further. This work will continue to make sure that the benefits of Crossrail 2 spread right out across London, Surrey, Hertfordshire and beyond.”
In March 2016 government committed £80m, matched by TfL to take Crossrail 2 to the next stage of development with the aim of depositing a Hybrid Bill in 2019. An estimated 60,000 full-time jobs will also be supported through the construction of Crossrail 2 and across the UK in engineering, construction and manufacturing through its supply chain, driving hundreds of millions of pounds to regional and local economies.