Major milestone reached as Crossrail begins trial operations

A major milestone in advance of Crossrail opening to public use has been made as trial operations begin.

Earlier in the week, Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild stated it was imminent, though couldn’t give a date.

Trial operations sees the last stage of testing for the network using volunteers and staff to check for issues. It follows a crucial software upgrade named ELR100.

Trial running preceded trial operations and saw service levels ramped up from an initial four trains per hour between Abbey Wood and Paddington. Eight per hour followed.

Abbey Wood station

The full service will be 12 trains per hour on the Paddington to Abbey Wood stretch. The core from Paddington to Whitechapel will see 24 trains per hour with services to Heathrow and Reading in the west, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Opening should follow in spring next year depending on whether testing sees minimal  glitches with crucial software ELR100 during trial operations.


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11 thoughts on “Major milestone reached as Crossrail begins trial operations

  • Excellent news. I wonder if the proposed bus service changes affecting routes 129 180 472 and 469 will still go head in line with the opening of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line stations at Abbey Wood and Woolwich.

    Considering the cuts to bus services over the last 18 months or so which has seen many bus route frequencies reduced as TFL try to balance the books due to the financial crisis at TFL partly caused by the Covid pandemic.

    • Very hard to say. If DfT and the Treasury pull funding then probably limited changes and cuts elsewhere.

  • Ah yes, the cuts to the 180 from Woolwich to Lewisham because Crossrail will go from Woolwich Arsenal to Canary Whaf. An absolutely ludicrous reason and when I contacted Matthew Pennycook about it he seemed rather unconcerned.

  • I agree JR a ludicrous idea to alter route 180 but sadly despite many people objecting to the proposal through the consultation at the time it was still agreed that route 180 would be re-routed to North Greenwich Station.

    One suggestion would be to extend route 469 Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Erith Town Centre from Erith Town Cente to Erith Quarry with a frequency increase as uses single decker buses. Route 469 would serve both Abbey Wood and Woolwich Elizabeth Line Stations.

    Alternatively extend route 472 North Greenwich Station Thamesmead to Erith Quarry via Abbey Wood and Erith Town Centre as route 472 would serve both the new Elizabeth Line Stations at Abbey Wood and Woolwich while already currently serving North Greenwich Station. However, the current frequency of route 472 would need to be retained or slightly increased to meet extra capcity. Rather than the current proposal to reduce the frequency on route 472 as part of proposed extension to Abbey Wood

    These alternative suggestions would have allowed route 180 to continue to operate between Belvedere Industrial Estate and Lewisham Shopping Centre via Woolwich and Greenwich.

  • Would be wise if they extended 428 from Erith to Abbey Wood. As well as bringing 472 to Erith.

  • @JR He’s probably too busy worrying about how many people viewed his Tweets to care about anything else. I’ve written to him on a number of occasions over the years about local issues, and not once has he bothered to reply to any of them.

  • What about the 301? Could it extend at both sides from Woolwich to North Greenwich via the 472 route and Bexleyheath to Erith via the quickest route? Or withdraw the route and replace it with the 472 for most of the 301 routing to Bexleyheath . More of a stretch: Extend the 129 from North Greenwich to Kidbrooke via Charlton (486) and Blackheath, Royal Standard then for Eltham and to Lewisham, Shopping Centre (as originally proposed)

  • @ James. Yes extending the 428 to Abbey Wood would be wise and would cater for residents living in the Dartford and Crayford areas who may wish to commute using the new Elizabeth Line. Especially if commuting to Canary Wharf or the City .

  • The 180 changes are the most ridiculous changes I’ve ever seen, it serves no purpose whatsoever, why not extend the 99 to Erith Quarry and to North Greenwich?

    Or if there is a desire to have a pointless link from Erith to NG why not split the 180 with the Lewisham to Plumstead section remaining the 180 and a new route 480 running the NG to Erith section.

    Matthew Pennycook has been useless on this matter, he’s not even remotely bothered that the 180 is a valuable link between Thamesmead, Woolwich, Charlton, Greenwich and Lewisham.

    Woolwich has several buses that run to Lewisham via Eltham and via Blackheath, but Thamesmead, Abbey Wood and Charlton will be the biggest losers if the 180 changes go ahead as they’ll lose a bus link to Lewisham, not to mention that Abbey Wood and Thamesmead will lose a bus connection to Greenwich

  • @ N and @ Jasper T you both make some very good suggestions. The 301 is already proposed to be extended to Charlton to serve the new developments including Charlton Riverside so could be extended from Charlton via the quickest route to North Greenwich Station.

    There is also a lot of scope to extend routes 129 291 and 335 which all use double decker buses on short routes with relative low passenger loadings outside of the peak hours.

    The bus network does need reviewing with so many new develoipments under construction or in the planning in the Borough of Greenwich and neighbouring Boroughs of Bexley and Lewisham to meet growing demand as new developments completed and residents move in.

  • @ Graham you make good points.

    If the 301 is being extended to Charlton then they may as well extend it all the way to NG.

    And if the 301 extension does go ahead then this will make the 180 changes utterly redundant, the 180 going to NG from Erith might have been worthwhile twenty years ago when the Jubilee line was extended, but Erith had gotten by without a direct link to NG these past two decades and with Abbey Wood CrossRail on their doorstep why would they travel all the way to NG for the Jubilee line when CrossRail serves the same places but is much closer and quicker.


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