overhead lines, and 10 new stations in the central and southeast sec- tions of the line. New platforms needed to be constructed, and schedul - ing and testing also had to be factored in. Through the early stages, the project seemed to stay fairly close to the original timeline. Boring of the railway tunnels was completed in 2015, and by September 2017 workers completed track installa- tion. Overhead lines were powered up between Westbourne Park and Stepney, two stops on the line, and a video of trains traveling through the tunnels was released in 2018. Shortly after, the project went off the rails. InAugust 2018, four months before the project was scheduled to open, officials said further time was needed for testing and that contractors needed to complete work in the central tunnels and to develop software, according to the BBC . The project was already running well ahead of cost estimates, and in its 2018 annual report the Infrastructure Projects Authority warned of cost overrun if “significant issues” were not addressed. Part of the delay resulted from an explosion at a substation during electrical testing in November 2017 and reported in January. An inves - tigation pushed the timeline back for three months as officials found high-voltage power was incorrectly designed. Workers successfully powered up the substation in February. There were other issues, as well. A Crossrail executive blamed a deci- sion to delay purchase of trains in 2013 as part of the reason for the Crossrail Project Facts & Figures The project: A new 73-mile rail line in London that is expected to carry 200 million passengers per year. Time and cost: Construction began in 2009 with a targeted opening date of 2017. It is now expected to be fully operational in 2002 at a projected cost of €18.7 billion, nearly €4 billion more than initial estimates. That is about $22.7 billion in the United States. Congestion relief: The new line will serve 41 stations, including 10 new ones, and will add 10 percent to London’s rail capacity. The rail line should help alleviate London’s traffic congestion, which is ranked as the worst in Europe. More than a million car trips are made into the city each day. Safety plan: The project includes 350 LadderUP® safety posts manufactured by BILCO. Did you know? Boris Johnson was the Mayor of London when the project started in 2009. He is now the nation’s Prime Minister.
Crossrail or the Elizabeth Line, is much more advanced than Dow’s proposal. The new line will stretch across 73 miles with new electric trains that will run up to 24 trains per hour in each direction. The line is expected to carry more than 200 million passengers per year when it becomes fully operational in 2022. The line is undergo- ing testing throughout most of this year, but should eventually help ease London’s vehicle gridlock. There are 1.3 million vehicle trips per day into the city, which has the dubious distinction of having Europe’s worst traffic congestion. For more than 60 years after Dow’s vision, rail projects anchored around London stayed on the drawing board. It was not until 2008 when the Crossrail Act finally received royal assent. Construction started in 2009. The final price tag is expected to reach €18.7 billion ($23 billion in the U.S.), nearly €4 billion more than initial estimates. The project is expected to transform the city. Billed as Europe’s largest infrastructure project, the Elizabeth Line will serve 41 stations and add about 10 percent to London’s rail capacity. “Crossrail will not only mean fast journey times across the capital and beyond, but it will also bring a massive economic boost to the city, creating thousands of jobs and adding at 20 billion to our economy,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said when construction began in 2009. Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister and the Mayor of London when construction started, also announced his excitement. “When the first of Crossrail’s chariots glide smoothly along its lines in 2017, it will change the face of transport in London and the southeast forever.” That may be true, but Johnson’s timeline, like the entire Crossrail his - tory, was far off track. Construction Challenges In a project of this magnitude, delays were inevitable. The project included boring railway tunnels, track installation, powering through More than 350 Ladder Up® Safety Posts from BILCO are used along the 73-mile underground railway, helping provide engineers with unobstructed access to walkways to conduct maintenance. Photo: BILCO
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