London Mayor Sadiq Khan Becomes Crossrail’s First Passenger
To celebrate Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project, reaching the 75% complete milestone, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan made the first station to station journey from Custom House to Canary Wharf on August 31st in a Clayton Equipment CD40 diesel locomotive.
Crossrail is delivering a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway in London and the home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex. The line will provide a high-frequency commuter and suburban passenger service that will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, via central London, to Essex and south-east London. The project has completed 21 km (13 mi) of new twin-bore tunnels running from Paddington to Stratford and Canary Wharf. The finished railway, which will be named the Elizabeth line when it opens in central London in 2018, will be a fully accessible route of 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
The CD40 is a construction locomotive that enables ATCjv staff to run engineering trains to install track, overhead conductions, cable management systems, cross passages doors, ventilation fans, walkways, drainage, fire mains, and lighting throughout the entire length of the tunnels. It is one of seven locomotives supplied by Clayton Equipment for ATCjv, all of which were designed to match the unique specification and performance criteria required by the Crossrail project.
The mayor boarded the Clayton CD40 from the new station at Custom House and travelled to Canary Wharf, meeting a number of engineers and apprentices working on the project. Half of the permanent track on the line has now been laid, and nearly all of the platform structures, which will give step-free access to the 200m long trains at all of the 10 new stations, have also been built.
Speaking to reporters at the milestone event, Sadiq Khan said: "The opening of The Elizabeth line will be a landmark moment for London. It will help us deliver a modern, truly world-class transport system that allows us to deal with the growth in London’s population over the coming decades. Half the permanent track has now been completed, and being able to travel the Elizabeth line route from Custom House to Canary Wharf shows the huge progress that has been made. I visited the Canary Wharf station site as Transport Minister in 2010 when construction had just got underway. The fact that the project is now 75% complete, and being delivered on time and within budget is testament to the hard work of the thousands of men and women who have worked on the project. It is vital for the future prosperity of our city that progress continues apace and we deliver this wonderful project on time. With brand new trains and all the stations being step-free, the opening of the Elizabeth line will improve the quality of life for millions of people across London and the south east, and provide a huge boost to our economy."
Over 200 million passengers are expected to use the Elizabeth line each year, increasing rail capacity in central London by 10% and reducing congestion on the London Underground. An extra 1.5 million people will be within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key employment districts. The impact of the new railway will be substantial, providing reduced journey times, new business opportunities, economic growth and a better connected transport network for London and the South East.
Construction on the Crossrail project will continue to focus on fitting out the tunnels and stations with the systems required to turn the new line into an operational railway.
Since the construction of the new railway began in 2009, over 10,000 men and women have worked on the project and over 100 million working hours have been completed. Over 600 apprentices have also been recruited on the Crossrail project.