The latest report on Crossrail progress has been released by TfL analysing progress and incidents over the summer.
The report highlights issues such as a train in the Abbey Wood area passing a red light on 28 July. That’s a major no-no in rail.
It also mentions the incident of two transformer failures over the summer and states investigations will continue. Transformer failures caused much delay in 2018.
One part states there is “significant pressure” to open in the first half of 2022, but on balance it’s still most likely. However it appears any hope of an Easter opening may be optimistic.
One major issue was already known and covered on this site, with delays to train signalling software highlighted in a National Audit Office report in July.
“An important software update to the train signalling and control systems, which is necessary to start the next phase of operational testing, trial operations, is likely to be delayed by between three and eight weeks.”
Train and signal software issues have been a major source of problems with various rolling stock introductions in recent years, and they can spiral.
A huge amount is now resting on major software update named ELR100 which is to be introduced before trial operations in November.
Trial operations are currently ongoing though aspirations of a 12 trains per hour service have failed to be met on a number if days.
Reliability needs improvement before trial running can commence, which is trains running using hundreds of volunteers to better simulate how trains will work with passengers on board.
Only once those milestones are passed and reliability shown to be good enough will services open to the public.
A huge amount now rests on the delayed software update. If that doesn’t work as planned, the first half of 2022 may be missed.
If it does work as planned, then maybe, just maybe, a March to April opening could happen. In reality May or June look most likely as things stand.