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.
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.
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.