Testing of Crossrail services from Abbey Wood today extended beyond Paddington and on to Acton.
This marks a key stage in testing both rolling stock and signalling.
So far trial running and trial operations have concentrated on the Abbey Wood to Paddington stretch which is the first to open.
That’s known as Stage 3 and will have a frequency of a train every five minutes.
Following that stretch – opening this spring if deadlines are met – services on the core running beyond Paddington to Reading and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield in the east will follow. There is speculation that an opening date for Crossrail may be pushed back by some weeks this spring to allow greater testing beyond the Abbey Wood to Paddington section given little time to test full 24 trains per hour capability to all branches.
The number of trains today running wasn’t extensive (certainly not at anywhere near full operational levels when opening) and hiccups appear to have been evident, but the hope now is that quickly settles down, newly introduced software works well and the opening for both stays on track.