London Crossrail Elizabeth Line train door

UK: Trial operations have finally begun on the central section of London’s Crossrail project, ahead of the launch of Elizabeth Line services between Paddington and Abbey Wood in ‘the first half of 2022’.

Trial running started on November 20, and will include more than 150 operating scenarios to ensure that all systems and procedures work effectively and that staff can respond to any incidents, including customers being unwell or signal failures.

London Crossrail Elizabeth Line train at Tottenham Court Road

Organisations including Transport for London, London Underground, operator MTR Elizabeth Line, Network Rail and the emergency services will work together during the trials, with ‘complex’ exercises scheduled for the new year to include evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff and volunteers.

The final step will be a period of shadow running to the future timetable ahead of the opening.

On November 22 Transport for London said trial operations would continue ‘until it is clear that it can operate at the highest levels of safety and reliability’ and ‘only then will a specific opening date for the railway be announced’.

Elizabeth Line services will initially be operated in three separate sections, with passengers from the west needing to change at Paddington for services onto the central section, and passengers from the east changing at Liverpool Street. The earliest date for linking up the routes is autumn 2022, with the full timetable to be in place from May 2023.