Crossrail reportedly set to open central section for Christmas 2021
Crossrail, known as the Elizabeth Line, will reportedly open its central section in London for Christmas 2021, according to New West End Company's CEO Jace Tyrrell.
Tyrrell confirmed the news to TheIndustry.fashion, stating that Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, informed him it will open its central stations for before the end of 2021.
Last August, Transport for London announced that the opening of the central section of the Elizabeth Line would not occur during Summer 2021 as expected, and that the cost would be roughly £1.1 billion higher.
The central section has two stations that directly pass under London's iconic Oxford Street, located at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street respectively.
The news should come as a relief to retail businesses, commuters and tourists who feel like the current transport system is overcrowded, construction work has caused damage to businesses footfall, and that investment is desperately needed in areas like Oxford Street.
Last month, Crossrail confirmed it still plans to bring the Elizabeth Line into full passenger service as soon as practically possibly in the first half of 2022.
In a statement, Crossrail said: "Delivery of the Elizabeth Line is now in its complex final stages and is being completed at a time of great uncertainty due to the risks and potential impacts of further Covid outbreaks. Our focus is on meeting the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19.
"We are planning to start intensive operational testing, known as Trial Running, at the earliest opportunity in 2021. It involves multiple trains operating in the central operating section to test the timetable and build reliability, while the final works to the stations are completed.
"It will take a period of time to fully test the Elizabeth Line before it can open for passenger service. This includes a final phase known as Trial Operations involving people being invited onto trains and stations to test real-time service scenarios to ensure the readiness of the railway.
"Following the opening of the central section, full services across the Elizabeth Line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will be introduced. The introduction of full services will be aligned with the National Rail timetable change which occurs twice a year in May and December."
TheIndustry.fashion has produced a full length podcast with Jace Tyrrell, CEO of New West End Company, which is available to listen to now. We talk VAT, business rates, Crossrail and just who or what might fill empty spaces on Oxford Street.