Crossrail will definitely not start in 2020 as costs rise further

News is out this morning that Crossrail will definitely not open in 2020 and require further cash to complete.

TfL state they’re aiming to open “as soon as practically possible” in 2021 which doesn’t sound too promising. Signalling issues seem the main obstacle to completion.

Woolwich Arsenal Station

Technically they could still make the opening window announced earlier this year of October 2020 to March 2021 but that looks a tall order. Costs have increased by £400 million to £650 million.

Woolwich Crossrail station

Frustratingly many of the stations are now complete. Abbey Wood has had trains sat waiting for passengers for some time now.

The issue of running shuttles from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf was raised recently and apparently ruled out by Crossrail bosses as it would impede testing needed to operate phases after the Abbey Wood to Paddington stretch opens – which is still the first stage of “Crossrail proper” due to begin.

Squeeze intensifies

More delay will cause increasing issues with south east London’s squeezed transport network. Delays to Southeastern’s future means any decision to order new trains is delayed. Any new trains would then need to be ordered and delivered after a decision is made meaning relieve is years off.

New builds in Thamesmead near Abbey Wood station

Indeed, capacity cuts could be here in early 2020 due to some trains not being compliant with new disability laws.

Some old Networker trains – the Class 466 – can’t run on some lines from 2020

Network Rail plans just a five per cent capacity growth on lines serving Lewisham and Kidbrooke in 2024 with no capacity growth on the Woolwich line as Crossrail was due to alleviate pressure.

Last year alone saw passenger increase around five per cent on Southeastern – and that’s after running fewer services due to Thameslink taking over some such as the the Woolwich line route to Medway.

Kidbrooke taken last week

The DLR will also see no new stock until 2023.

Woolwich Riverside towers

Anyone who reads this site knows the sheer number of new developments underway in places such as Thamesmead, Woolwich, Greenwich and Lewisham let alone Canary Wharf.

Lewisham site now cleared for tower to rise in early 2020

By now the Elizabeth Line should have given relief to Southeastern and the DLR. That could be two years away.

The additional cash needed could also impact upon TfL finances in years to come hampering investment.


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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.

6 thoughts on “Crossrail will definitely not start in 2020 as costs rise further

  • This news just makes me SO angry. Crossrail is already almost a year overdue and now we’re being told it won’t even be 2020! Basically, the situation with regards to timescale and completion date, feels like the old ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. How much taxpayer’s money (and time and distraction) has the government wasted over the last 3 years on bleeping Brexit, when really important infrastructure projects should have been sorted out. The never ending delays and additional expense as time goes on, have a real impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but it feels as if the government really couldn’t be less interested or bothered to get this (and other) important matters sorted out. So many people have been waiting for the Elizabeth Line to open as it will make a big difference to their life. All the money and hard work that has already been spent, and stations and trains lying empty shoeuld b a public disgrace but no one is being held accountable to get the project finished. Feels like it’s always the same outcome with these massive public projects and taxpayers money.

  • This make me very hyper angry because crossrail mean to have full service on Sunday 15th December 2019 between Abbey Wood and Paddington and on 2020 crossrail is meant to open and they are just lying to us.

  • Sadiq Khan the Labour Mayor For London has failed miserably on all his promises to improve Public Transport in London. DLR no new trains until 2023 at least.,

    Crossrail Elizabeth Line now not due to open until possibly mid to late 2021 and needs more cash. This could even be delayed until 2022 dependent on funding who know?

    Bus services cut to Central London years ahead of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line opening. So how are these people travelling to Central London on existing over crowded buses and trains.

    Bus services to Hospital’s cut and promises of improved bus services in Outer London could now take 5 years to complete. These can also be subject to further cuts dependent on funding.

    Thousands of new homes already built across Thamesmead,, Abbey Wood, Woolwich,, Charlton,. Kidbrooke,, Greenwich Peninsula, Central Greenwich, and Deptford,

    Along with further large developments on Thamsmead by Peabody already under construction and at Charlton Riverside which is due in the very near future.

    There has been no real investment in the public transport infrastructure putting massive strain on an already over crowded public transport network system in the Borough.

    • Not the picture your anti-Labour/anti-Khan diatribe suggests. TfL’s funding from central government has been cut and keeping fares down has also contributed to loss of revenue. TfL’s detractors would squeal like stuck pigs if fares started to rise. There is always a trade off.

      CrossRail’s problems are signalling related, which cannot be laid at the door of TfL.

  • This does not bode well for HS2.

  • The problems are with computer signally programming after Paddington heading West. Ok, so why not run services East of this ? At least they would get revenue coming in & people will get some use out of the system.


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