Crossrail release update as March opening targeted: Are trial operations going well?

Crossrail’s CEO Mark Wild has featured in a new video offering an update on the project as critical trial operations stage begin.

If all goes well the line between Paddington and Abbey Wood could begin on 6th March 2022.

That’s a big if, as a crucial software update for trains – named ELR100 – needs to be shown to be reliable.

Trains can be seen coming and going with high regularity at Abbey Wood station

For those that don’t know, there’s an excellent site named RealTimeTrains which shows real time tracking across the country of all trains – including Crossrail.

We can see that the first day of trial operations was bumpy, with quite a few delays in the afternoon.

At times last weekthe 12 trains per hour frequency did not appear to be met for extended periods, though today appears to show very good reliability.

10 minutes from Canary Wharf

Abbey Wood to Paddington is taking just 28 minutes in testing.

Not featuring on realtimetrains doesn’t mean services aren’t running, though it’s usually pretty relievable.

Still, scrolling through each day since it begun is pretty reassuring.

Testing visible at Abbey Wood station

If you want to see the services, Abbey Wood station and rail crossings such as the Eynsham Drive flyover offer a good site, as do crossings in Silvertown.

Trial operations also involve using volunteers to simulate events such as evacuations. TfL have been advertising for staff to help on internal intranet messages for some time.



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J Smith

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 release update as March opening targeted: Are trial operations going well?

  • The new ventilation systems are much bigger the previously seen on the Underground. The fans are massive.

    Added to their complexity they have to work with the existing systems at stations.

    I worked at Liverpool Street where the new station joins the old Liverpool Street and Moorgate together and adds large new ticket halls at both ends.

    It is hardly surprising that the integration is taking time.

  • Real Time Trains isn’t necessarily a good indication at the moment since they doing operational testing which involves simulated failure scenarios. They may well have been simulating a train faulure or a broken rail at the time you look. There are 144 different tests planned before Christmas so thats about 6 each day. The tests are designed to see how long it would take to rectify the issue they are testing and if all the staff know what has to be done in each case.

  • You can see a diagram that doesn’t mean much to the unschooled. I watched ‘moving trains’ at Custom House – their arrival intervals and dwell times.


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