One of the last major regulatory hurdles for the opening of the Elizabeth Line/Crossrail has been cleared, with the Office of Rail and Road delivering final authorisation for the line to be opened.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has issued approvals for all the Elizabeth line stations – with the exception of Bond Street – confirming the stations and infrastructure meet the requirements for passenger use.
Abbey Wood, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Whitechapel and Woolwich stations have all been given the green light and issued with authorisations.
Bond Street has been given the go-ahead for safe evacuation procedures only, as it will open for passengers later than the rest of the line.
It has also authorised the overall routeway for the Elizabeth line’s track and tunnel infrastructure, to allow trains to run through the central section.
Transport for London recently confirmed the Elizabeth line will open to the public on Tuesday 24 May – this move by the Office of Rail and Road rubber-stamps that action.
The trains that will operate on the line – the Alstom/Bombardier Class 345 trains were authorised for use in 2020.
Steve Fletcher, Deputy Director of Engineering and Asset Management at the Office of Rail and Road, said:
“Delivery of the Elizabeth line is in its very final complex stages, but we’ve been working closely with the Crossrail project and Transport for London for some time to ensure smooth progress of authorisations. This co-operation means we’ve been able to provide these approvals in a timely manner and ensure this state-of-the-art railway can enter into service safely and reliably for passengers, and meet the schedule opening date of 24 May.”
Howard Smith, Elizabeth line Director, said:
“With final preparations underway ahead of opening the Elizabeth line on Tuesday 24 May, we have been working closely with ORR on getting the final authorisations for our stations, trains and other infrastructure that will mean we can operate the new railway safely and reliably for all our future customers.”
The final dash to opening
With just under 11 days to go before the first fare-paying passengers take to the rails, the race is on to ensure that trains are updated, training continues, test operations continue to operate, decals are applied, and that signage and wayfinding are updated.
All this for around 6:30 on Monday morning, when the first services set off from Paddington and Abbey Wood
But more importantly, the rubber stamp of the ORR validates that all the checks have been passed – ensuring their part that passengers can travel safely on the new lines
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