Another step has been taken towards opening the central section of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line service with the transfer of its Canary Wharf station to the control of Transport for London.
It is the ninth of the ten new stations serving the line to pass into TfL’s hands and can now be integrated into its wider rail network and included in trial operation exercises.
Before Christmas it was anticipated that the transfer would take place by New Year, but TfL continues to say the new railway is “on track” for the start of passenger services in the first half of 2022. Only the Bond Street station, which is behind schedule, is yet to move across to TfL.
BBC London’s transport correspondent Tom Edwards has travelled on the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Liverpool Street and describing the trains as “clean, bright and fast” and the stations as “huge and glistening”.
Delays and cost over runs have dogged the project which at one stage in its long history was hoped to be ready in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
It is nearly 13 years since ground was broken for the Canary Wharf station at a ceremony attended by the then Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
When Sadiq Khan became London Mayor in 2016 the service was expected to begin in time for Christmas 2018, but that date was abandoned in July 2018 because of stations being incomplete and problems with the complex signalling systems.
When its central section opens the Elizabeth Line will initially operate as three separate railways with passengers travelling between Reading and Heathrow needing to change at Paddington to get on to the central section and those coming in from Shenfield having to change at Liverpool Street.
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