Annoying news for train nerds and anyone who likes not smelling other people's armpits on the Central Line, as Crossrail, the organisation building London's new Elizabeth Line, has announced that it will be delaying the opening of the central tunnelled section of the line until next Autumn. While no specific date has been given, this is almost a year after December 9th of this year, which had never been officially announced as the launch date, but was the date that has been routinely talked about by people close to the Crossrail project.
The new railway will head from East to West under London, linking Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East, and Reading and Heathrow in the West - crucially adding much needed capacity in Central London, and relieving the constantly rammed Central Line. The trains will be full national rail sized, rather than tiny tube carriages, and once launched it will singlehandedly increase London's rail capacity by 10%.
In the announcement, Crossrail says that the reason for the delay is the need to "complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required". Which seems... sort of fair enough? In any case, this delay is likely to become a huge political football and used as an excuse to hit Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan. But I can't help but wonder if we should cut them some slack? I mean, maybe I'm going soft because they once let me go down into the tunnels during construction, but surely a massive, sprawling infrastructure project like this was always going to be something that had a shifting timeline?