Passenger tests aboard Crossrail services are set to begin next month for selected employees.
With trial operations now in full swing the next stage is to permit “passengers” to board and test a number of scenarios before the service officially opens to the public.
Volunteers will test evacuation plans from mid-February, with some tests being in the Woolwich area. These include train to train evacuations, train to station evacuations as well as to the Limmo shaft located between Custom House and Canary Wharf.
Last week test services extended beyond Abbey Wood to Paddington with services running to Acton.
Various hurdles are now being crossed before full public usage can begin. A number of software updates for rolling stock was introduced last month including the all-important ELR100 and follow-up ELR110 to fix bugs.
Testing continues today, though trains are not operating past Paddington – and it hasn’t been a particualrly good day with many cancellations.
This week I visited both Woolwich and Abbey Wood stations. A peek through the railing at Woolwich shows the station ready to go. Abbey Wood appears the same though the station still hasn’t been officially handed over to Transport for London.
The same applies to Canary Wharf and Bond Street. Whether a March opening can be met remains unknown.
Upon opening trains will rung every five minutes between Abbey Wood and Paddington. Further openings connect to the core, with services running to Shenfield in the east and Reading and Heathrow to the west.