Elizabeth Line escalators (Photo TfL)

UK: Industry regulator the Office of Rail & Road confirmed on May 13 that London’s Elizabeth Line had received final authorisations for the passenger use of its infrastructure, trains and stations (except Bond Street), ahead of the opening which is scheduled for May 24.

Bond Street station is only approved for safe evacuation procedures, as construction was behind schedule and the station will open to passengers later than the rest of the line.

ORR said it has been working closely with the Crossrail project over the last two years to ensure the new line crossing London from east to west meets the necessary technical, safety and accessibility requirements.

It approved the ETCS operation of the Bombardier Transportation Class 345 EMU fleet in 2020, and recently authorised use of the GSM-R network.

The regulator has also approved the track access contract between Rail for London (Infrastructure) Ltd, which is the infrastructure manager for the Crossrail Central Operating Section, and operator MTR Corp (Crossrail) Ltd.

‘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’, said Steve Fletcher, Deputy Director of Engineering & Asset Management at ORR. ’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.’