HomeBusinessCrossrail commences Trial Operations on the Elizabeth line.

Crossrail commences Trial Operations on the Elizabeth line.


Crossrail – the project that will deliver the Elizabeth line under London – started Trial Operations on Saturday 20 November 2021 in preparation for the line’s opening for passenger services between Paddington and Abbey Wood in the first half of 2022.

The Trial Operations phase is designed to fully test the timetable and to ensure that the safety and reliability of the railway is ready for or public use. As well as running trains to time, over 150 different exercises will be conducted over the coming months to ensure that all systems and procedures work effectively and staff can respond to any incidents, including customers being unwell or signal failures.

An Elizabeth line train sits at Tottenham Court Road for its anticipated dwell time. Later in Trail Operations, ‘real’ passengers will board and alight here.

In the new year, a series of more complex exercises will commence, including evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff and volunteers.

The final step will see a period of ‘shadow running’, operating timetabled services ahead of the Elizabeth line opening.

This is a complex set of tests and Trial Operations will continue until it is clear that the new railway can operate at the highest levels of safety and reliability before the start of passenger services. Only then will a specific opening date for the railway be announced.

Sadiq Khan. Mayor of London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Reaching the start of Trial Operations is a significant milestone in the delivery of the Elizabeth line, and it’s really exciting to be moving into this phase. The next few months are crucial to making sure the railway can open safely next year, and everyone is working incredibly hard to reach that goal.

“The Elizabeth line will help transform travel in London and the South East, dramatically improving transport links, supporting regeneration and boosting our economic recovery.”

Andy Byford, TfL.

Andy Byford, Transport for London’s Commissioner, added: “Everyone is working hard to make sure we can open the Elizabeth line safely and reliably in the first half of 2022.

“The project continues to have my full, personal attention, and with huge progress made to date, it is great to now enter this final stretch. The Trial Operations phase will see staff really get to grips with all aspects of this complex and transformational railway to ensure we are ready to welcome customers next year.”


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