Friday, October 5, 2007

Crossrail finally gets the go-ahead...

...but will only begin construction in 2010, at the earliest.

You may remember this project from the early 1990s when the west-east underground railway line was first rejected by the Tories and has since been given numerous green lights only to be dodged by 'funding issues' and political and local opposition. So after almost twenty years in limbo, Crossrail will finally be built with cost ballooning from the initial £10bn estimate in 2003 to the current £16bn (BBC News). O_o

Crossrail, when built, will be similar to the current north-south commuter service by Thameslink and will be run with similar frequency comparable to the RER line in Paris. Crossrail line 1 will connect a new network that will connect Shenfield, Essex to Maidenhead down in West of London. It will require a new central east-west tunnels between Paddington and Whitechapel and the creation of new underground stations at Bond Street, TCR, Paddington, Farringdon, Whitechapel, Liverpool St. and Isle of Dogs; which will provide interchange with existing Tube, overground and DLR lines.

If all goes to plan the first Crossrail train will begin service in 2015. At its peak it will provide up to 24 trains an hour between Maidenhead and Essex so fingers-crossed that the scheme won't fall victim to yet more red-tape and lord forbid, the PFI.

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