Skip to main content

Crossrail: progress review

Crossrail is a large, complex programme to run new, direct rail across London. It will be known as the Elizabeth line when it opens and will be part of Transport for London’s rail and underground network.

The Elizabeth line is now in its complex final stages. In 2018, it became clear that the original schedule and cost estimate would not be met and the programme was reset. We reported in May 2019 that a revised funding package of £17.6 billion was set to complete the programme.

In November 2019 and August 2020 Crossrail Ltd announced further delays and cost increases. In December 2020, Transport for London and the Department for Transport announced a further financing package. Intensive operational testing, known as trial running, is due to start at the earliest opportunity in 2021 with passenger services commencing through the new central tunnel section in 2022.

In this study we will look at progress since we last reported in May 2019 and the reasons for further delays and cost increases. We will also consider how well-placed the Crossrail programme is to start services in 2022 and how the risks to securing the benefits and value for money from the programme are being managed.