Crossrail and Stations Update

My team and I met Crossrail Chairman, Tony Meggs, recently to discuss the latest announcement of further delays to the project's completion.

I share constituents' frustrations that the project remains unfinished and that the opening of the central section is not now expected until mid-2022. While the pandemic has had an impact on construction projects across the country, this project has been repeatedly delayed and I have sought assurances that we will not be having similar discussions on timetable lags in eighteen months’ time.

As many of you will know, one of the principal causes for delays in the opening of Crossrail has been the complexity of the three signalling systems that operate along the route and the integration of those systems with one another. Tony said significant progress has been made on this and further testing of these systems will be taking place this year. After these tests are completes, trial running of the service is anticipated to commence in 2021 before opening of the central section in mid-2022. Operation of the full route, i.e. Shenfield to Reading, is anticipated to open in mid-2023.

Given that, even if these operational deadlines are to be met, the full opening of the service will be approximately five years over schedule and nobody wants to see further slippage in the timetable. Crossrail have now provided my office with extra information on the failings already documented and the steps taken to address them. I was pleased to be advised that, while staff numbers are down due to social distancing restrictions, operational changes have delivered a 97% productivity for ongoing works. A team of specialists from the Department for Transport will be assisting Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner, Andy Byford, in his review of the project and future funding. I shall be pressing TfL and the Mayor of London for updates on this work.

Crossrail have also announced that additional funding of £450m will be required to ensure the completion of the project. I questioned Tony about his confidence that this further sum would be enough and what negotiations are underway between TfL and the Department of Transport.

Finally, we also discussed the completion of works within Harold Wood station, the only Crossrail station within the constituency, and other stations within the vicinity which may be used by constituents. Crossrail funded works, i.e. the extension of platforms, the refurbishment of the station hall and installation of lifts, at Harold Wood station are now completed and broader public realm works by Havering Council are underway. I paste below a briefing on the status of works in nearby stations in due course.

I hope that this update is helpful in advising of the status of the Crossrail project. I shall continue to lobby both Crossrail itself and TfL to complete the project successfully as soon as possible. 

 

Station updates

Harold Wood station

  • Upgrade works by Network Rail have been completed and the contractor has demobilised and left the site.
  • This has enabled the local authority to mobilise its contractor to start the urban realm works as part of the Crossrail complimentary measures.
  • The works completed at the station include:
    • An improved ticket hall with new ticket gates.
    • Refurbished waiting room and improved accessible toilets.
    • New customer information screens and signage.
    • 200+ metre long platforms.
    • Accessible by three new lifts.
    • Step-free from platform to street.

Gidea Park station 

  • All upgrade works have been completed. This includes:
    • An improved ticket hall.
    • Improved accessible toilets.
    • New customer information screens and signage.
    • 200+ metre long platforms.
    • Accessible by lifts.
    • Step-free from platform to street.

Brentwood station 

  • All upgrade works have been completed. This includes:
    • An improved ticket hall with new ticket gates.
    • New customer information screens and signage.
    • 200+ metre long platforms.
    • Accessible by three lifts (Platforms 1, 2 & 3 only)
    • Step-free from platform to street.

Romford station

  • Upgrade works continue at Romford station and are expected to be fully complete at the earliest opportunity in 2021. Recent/ongoing works include:
    • Refurbishment of the ticket office.  
    • Retaining wall repair completed and waterproofing ongoing.
    • New lift shaft completed.
    • ‘Back of house’ stair foundation underway.
    • Interim Ticket Office underway.
    • Access by lifts on platforms 3, 4 and 5 – due to be completed by the end of 2020.

Services on the eastern section 

We plan to introduce full-length Class 345 trains and retire the old Class 315 units when Stage 4 of the project commences in 2022. We are, however, exploring ways in which we can introduce the full-length units earlier, therefore we will keep you updated if this changes.