Crossrail update: Trial running completes this week

Crossrail’s chief exec Mark Wile today offered an update on progress before the Greater London Authority’s Transport Committee today.

Did it offer much we don’t know? Not really, though some media outlets are claiming hopes of a January 2022 opening are “dashed” despite reports over recent months making it pretty clear this was never very likely to happen.

Why? Well, a crucial software update named ELR100 is key to Crossrail opening and it needs to work reliably. Very reliably.

Elizabeth Line trains need software update

The software requires testing (it was installed around four weeks ago according to Wild) and then trial operations need to commence and that hasn’t begun yet.

Wild claimed it was “very, very close” but couldn’t give a definite date.

Trial operations takes further months and so January was never attainable.

Empty stations should see passengers for trial operations soon

They’re still finishing trial running this week after seven months (not trial operations which involve staff using trains to test reliability).

It would have required the software update in late summer which was never the timescale, at least not the timescale planned for a long time.

The good news is software is now at “revenue service quality”.

The meeting also heard that other integration tests were completed last week.

Software is key

If trial operations with new ELR100 software goes week we may even see a March 2022 opening. A big if, mind.

If not, who knows? That software update working reliably is absolutely crucial.

You can view the meeting by clicking here. It starts at around 20 minutes in.


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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.

4 thoughts on “Crossrail update: Trial running completes this week

  • This may have taken a long time but if you ask any train enthuasiast they’ll tell you this is an incredible achievement even with the delays, I cant wait.

  • I watched some of the trial runs from Custom House and Prince Regent stations. The high level footbridges afford good views of the track and trains. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a March 2022 opening.

  • Very much looking forward to this. It’s a shame that it’s “late” and “over budget”, but let’s face it it’s an enormous project tunnelling under the nation’s capital and linking up with the existing network at dozens of points. It clearly could never have been built in the 9 or 10 years that the consultants dreamed it could be. As for the initial budget, the treasury “decided” it would cost under £15b despite nobody else thinking that. More wishful thinking than a budget

  • I am looking forward to the new Elizabeth Line opening. But sadly I cannot see the line opening until at least the summer of 2022 if their are no more delays. It must be 100% safe before taking fare paying passengers.


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