Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf Crossrail testing to begin late 2017


An interesting snippet of info is included in a Crossrail document submitted to the Greater London Assembly this week. It reveals that ‘dynamic testing’ of the line from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf should begin in late 2017.

This section is on the first part of Crossrail ‘proper’ that will open to the public – Abbey Wood to Paddington. The section between Abbey Wood and Canary Wharf will be only 10 minutes apart on the new line and with Canary Wharf station already pretty much complete whilst others on this stretch are proceeding quickly, this section has been chosen for testing to ensure trains, signalling and other systems work as planned. Page 19 states:

testing schedule

The public will of course be unable to board any initial test trains in late 2017 and early 2018, but hopefully some unofficial passenger use of the line will happen before the official opening, planned for late 2018. This happened with London Overground back in 2010.

Station Progress

Abbey Wood station is proceeding well. The new platform for Southeastern services to central London is almost complete, with trains diverted permanently to serve it in two weeks time from 22nd February. The new station building will be complete in late 2017. Daily photographic updates are uploaded on this Bexley is Bonkers page.

He doesn’t seem impressed with the new wall installed. We’ll see if some remains bare concrete on part of the section facing Abbey Wood’s main shopping street. Hopefully not, but given how so many elements of plans seem designed to benefit those walking or taking the bus from Thamesmead, rather than those arriving from Abbey Wood itself, I wouldn’t be surprised. Greenwich council should have been pushing hard for its own residents in Abbey Wood with plans and funding applications. Instead it seems to have forgotten about them. The public realm ‘plans’ on Wilton Road and wider surrounds, compared to the flyover, are testament to that.

Here’s how the tracks from Abbey Wood down into the Plumstead portal are looking:

plumstead portal

Work continues at Woolwich station a few hundred metres beyond this entrance, and whilst not much can be seen above ground there is some activity to build the western station entrance as well as portals appearing at the eastern end. I recently saw it en route to eat at Woolwich’s Kailash Momo restaurant (well worth a visit by the way) but was in too much of a rush to take a pic. This site will have towers built above it, assuming developers don’t landbank as we’ve seen nearby. Seven and a half years and counting.

Armourers Court site render
Armorers Court development above eastern end of station

Custom House station on this route is also pretty much complete. Here’s a webcam screengrab:

custom house webcam

Crossrail’s webcams can be viewed here, and scrolling through the stations eventually reveals Custom House. It also shows Whitechapel’s roof beginning to appear.

whitechapel webcam

Crossrail’s document shows the scheme as a whole is on time and on budget. Bexley borough, along with those in Kent, have recently asked the government to fund an extension to Gravesend or Ebbsfleet in future. With 2000+ homes at Erith, around the same at Dartford, a huge Paramount theme park at Swanscombe and many more homes around Stone, Greenhithe and Ebbsfleet, then there’s certainly increasing demand to justify it.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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