UPDATED: 2nd June 2020: Crossrail trains cleared to use Heathrow tunnel
following from Ian Visits website (www.ianvisits.co.uk) Follow the
Article Categories link to "Transport News" and "Croosrail trains
cleared to use Heathrow tunnel" June 2nd for full item
Last month, a significant achievement took place on the
Crossrail project, which is far more important than the headlines make
it seem to be.
At a basic level, the Office of Rail Regulation approved the use of the new Class 345 trains that will be used on the Elizabeth line to carry passengers into the Heathrow tunnels.
practical implication being that TfL Rail will in the next few weeks be
able to run from Paddington to Heathrow direct, as they were supposed
to start doing back in May 2018.
The delay has been caused by the bane and saviour of modern railways, the signalling system.
it happened, that milestone was just about to be achieved as the
lockdown took place, but being software, a remote upgrade was possible,
and that was the final stage needed to get the regulator’s approval.
When the line is fully operational, a total of six Elizabeth Line trains per hour will serve Heathrow Airport.
Four will go to Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and two will go to Terminals 2, 3
and 5. This will also increase services to Ealing Broadway, Southall and
Hayes & Harlington.
THERE IS ALSO AN UPDATE ABOUT EALING BROADWAY STATION
for June now work has started again. Details available on the Crossrail site at https://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/western-section/ealing-broadway-station
AND ALSO DETAILS
of possible new trains starting this month at https://www.crossrail.co.uk/news/articles/crossrail-project-update
17th January 2020: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - latest information
The Crossrail work
at Ealing Broadway Station is now progressing well according to the
designs approved in Schedule 7 planning applications, the most recent
one of which was in 2017. The steelwork for some of the lift shafts and
walkways has now been installed, plus preparatory work done for the
remaining lift shaft. Some other steelwork on the platforms has been
installed, plus some work has been done on the new street level ticket
hall. Monthly updates about the work are now provided on the Crossrail
The only part of the
original design that is being reviewed is the design of the canopies on
the platforms. There has been some concern that they wouldn’t
provide adequate protection from the rain. New designs for canopies and
shelters are being investigated and these are being subjected to
passenger flow modelling. Any change to the approved design would
require either a new Schedule 7 application or an amendment to the
expectation is that the right hand (southern) side of the new ticket
hall will be opened in summer 2020, with the left hand (northern) side
following by December 2020. The new lifts will open once they
are ready for service and at least by December 2020. The
forecourt canopy (to the original design) will be constructed in 2
stages in conjunction the with station building work. The left hand
(northern) part of it will go across the frontage of Villers House. Any
work on the frontage of Villiers House itself and the estate agent
below would be the responsibility of Ealing Ltd. This would require a
new planning application and is likely to be done to a different
The new Crossrail
trains are now running from Paddington (via Ealing Broadway) out to
Reading. They are currently 7 carriages long and will increase to 9
carriages when the necessary software upgrades have been
completed. At some stage, the old Heathrow Connect trains out to
Heathrow will be replaced by the new Crossrail ones. This
won’t now be until spring 2020 at the earliest. The
signalling isn’t yet reliable enough on the new trains.
on “public realm” changes
outside Ealing Broadway Station in 2019. They got some negative
feedback and are now re-thinking the designs, including the location of
one bus stop and the lack of drop off/ pick up points. The
current expectation is that they
will initially have a workshop to discuss ideas. This
would be along the lines of the Liveable
27th July 2019: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - Ealing Council consultation on redesign
of the roadspace outside the station.
council is at long last consulting on plans to redesign the road space
outside Ealing Broadway Station ahead of Crossrail. You can see their
proposals at https://www.ealing.gov.uk/ebstation You
should read the consultation "DRAFT" paper first and there is
also a flyer available with an artists impression of what the site
could look like with the new minimalist canopy. Exactly what
proposed is not very clear but the key features include:-
- Narrowing the carriageway outside the station to a single lane.
- Installation of
new cycle racks on both sides of the road
- Relocating Bus stop F (E2, E7 and E8) to
outside the Metrobank
- No vehicle drop off provision even for
- 6 trees in planters.
consultation is open until 13th August.
Those who use the
station will know too well how unpleasant and overcrowded it is. Over
the past 10 years, SEC has pressed hard to use the opportunities of
Crossrail to get something worthwhile and we are profoundly
underwhelmed with what is now proposed. We have asked the Council at
least to justify what they want to do but they have declined to do so.
So please take a look at the plans for yourself and register your views
on them. You can do this through their online survey, but if you have
more to say than the survey allows, you can email email@example.com
SEC encourages you to make your own mind up about the plans, but some
areas that concern us are listed HERE
18th March 2019: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - latest information
Crossrail delays continue. Crossrail Ltd. still aren’t able
to predict a new planned opening date for the central London section of
the service but have confirmed that it won't now open in 2019. The
situation in Ealing is even worse as they haven’t yet let a
contract to start the station building work.
Previous dates of 19th December and 14th
February have been and gone and all they can say now is
The design for the
canopy outside Ealing Broadway Station will be different from that
shown on their hoardings. The revised design will be simpler and deals
with a number of issues with the old one. The illustrations we have
seen look broadly acceptable - see HERE . There will have
to be a new “Schedule 7” planning submission to
cover this change.
Ealing Council have
radically changed their previous ideas for the “public
realm” outside the station. We have fed back significant
concerns with the new proposed design and will see what changes have
been made when it shortly comes out for public consultation.
Crossrail were to
have introduced a 4 trains per hour stopping service to Heathrow in May
2018. They still don’t have confidence that they can run a
reliable service with their new trains and signalling. This new service
will now have to wait until December 2019 at the earliest.
4th February 2019: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - latest information
Crossrail delays at Ealing Broadway station continue. Crossrail now
doubt that the bridge can carry the supports for the original canopy
design, while complications have emerged with the area outside Villiers
House which is not in public ownership. This has required a major
re-design to the canopy over the front entrance which will have to go
back through Ealing Planning – see HERE
for their latest ideas.
We are promised a consultation on these plans
together with Ealing’s latest thinking on the public realm in
front of the station in the coming weeks. A key question will be
disabled car passengers set-down provision.
has a very full roundup of latest events HERE published on
November last year,
Crossrail also sent a letter to some local residents
what is happening at Ealing Broadway Station and what is due to take
place in late December/early January when there are road closures and hence bus
diversions whilst they install some heavy machinery.
You can see the text of their letter HERE
notes generally that as spring 2018 turned into summer, then
summer into autumn and with winter now here, the long promised
improvements to Ealing Broadway station forecourt seem as distant as
ever. Crossrail has been in the headlines recently for its cost
overruns and other delays but they continue to hold out the prospect
that the new Elizabeth Line service will be operational by the end of
next year. They admit however, the other improvements at Ealing
Broadway Station will be far from complete and their occupation of
Haven Green will drag on deep into 2020.
say that the station is ‘under technical review by Network
Rail as part of the contract letting’ (whatever that means).
With this in mind we look forward to confirmation that it will be built
according to the 2014 approved designs. The forecourt and the space
around it are LBE’s responsibility and they promise that once
the station itself is agreed they will consult further on these public
realm details, probably in the New Year.
it got its green light back in 2008, Crossrail’s works across
the Borough as a whole have been quite a shambles. Unlike in the
central and eastern sections nobody has taken the lead in planning how
it would be implemented and how it can best fit into the existing
environment. Promises and deadlines have been broken repeatedly with
the buck passing back and forth between TFL, Crossrail and Network
Rail, while LBE spectating from the side-lines like the rest of us.
When the Elizabeth Line finally opens expect that 4 out of 5 Ealing
stations (the exception is Hanwell) will prove poorly designed and
interface badly with the neighbourhoods they serve.
has written to the National Audit Office to suggest that they examine
the implementation of Crossrail in Ealing in its recently announced
investigation of the overall Crossrail Project
can see the full text of this letter HERE
November 2018: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - yet more ongoing delays
eventually admitted at the end of August that the new Elizabeth Line
service through central London wouldn’t be able to start
until Autumn 2019. However, these delays are nothing compared to what
we have experienced on the western surface section of the route, where
the scale of the work is much smaller.
The planned design for Ealing Broadway Station was approved in summer
2014. Work near us eventually started in late summer 2015 and the
eastern “emergency escape” footbridge was put up a
few months later. Work on the platform extensions then continued
slowly, but everything else seemed to slow down to a snail’s
pace. The same was true for the other west London stations on the
Crossrail route. We got the tale from Crossrail Ltd. that this was due
to the difficulties of working around an operational railway. However,
work well away from the tracks didn’t seem to be going on
Some concerned residents in West Ealing prompted BBC London to run an
article about the delays in July 2017. This got Crossrail to admit that
the contract for work on the station buildings had been canceled
because of increasing costs related to extra design work. There was no
explanation of why a construction contract had been let before design
work had been completed. We were told that a new (cheaper) contract
would be in place in December 2017, with the work to start shortly
afterwards. This whole process then suffered slippage after slippage.
The invitations to tender only went out in October 2017 and to date no
new contract appears to be have signed, although there are signs that a
contractor may have been chosen.
We were told in late 2017 that temporary contracts would be used to
advance some of the work that could only be done during
“possessions" of the railway, when no trains would be
running. There were plans to replace the staircase to platforms 2 and 3
at Ealing Broadway Station using such temporary contracts at Christmas
2017 and at the early May bank holiday 2018. Both these plans were
called off at the last moment when they realised they may not work.
Attempt no. 3 at replacing the staircase (using contractor no. 3) is
now underway. Passengers now have walk all the way down the platforms
and cross over the “emergency escape” footbridge to
get at these platforms. It is thought that a new staircase will be
installed over the Christmas break.
The introduction of new services hasn’t fared much better on
our section of the route. Crossrail were to introduce a 4 trains per
hour service to Heathrow Terminal 4 in May 2018 using their new
Elizabeth Line trains. They then found that they couldn’t get
the signalling to work with them in the tunnels to Heathrow. Two of
their new trains per hour now just run to Hayes & Harlington,
with 2 of the old (rebadged) Heathrow Connect trains every hour running
all the way to Heathrow. It is not clear when the 4 trains per hour
service will start, but it won’t be before May 2019 and
perhaps not until December 2019.
We await Crossrail’s next failure to deliver on time and on
also have an
item from August 2018 suggesting that the opening of the Western
Section of Crossrail will be delayed. You can read the item HERE
They also have an item from September 2018 reporting that passengers
may be "At risk" from the continuing delays at Ealing Broadway Station
and calling for action. That item is also available HERE
4th and 8th February 2018: Crossrail
and Ealing Broadway Station - ongoing delays
Crossrail announced last July it had terminated Vinci Ltd’s
2013 contract to
upgrade West London’s stations and was re-tendering the work.
We were assured
that with new contracts would be in place by December 2017 and
the upgraded stations
still be ready in time for Crossrail’s 2019 full opening as
the Elizabeth Line.
We now learn the re-tendering exercise was delayed and with new
unlikely before late spring, work won’t start till summer at
Whether it can end by Crossrail’s December 2019 deadline
too many steps. Unperturbed,
published a series of maps in
January of the different stages the Elizabeth Line would open. These
that by the time Crossrail’s Heathrow service began in May
2018 all West
London’s stations would have step free access from street to
announcement triggered a wave of complaints to TfL. No West London
step free, and the delays mean none will be soon. At the last count,
you had to
negotiate up to 48 steps to get from the street to the platform at
Broadway. TfL has since quietly amended its maps.
steps in and then out.
With concern growing about its lack of
progress, Crossrail tried a new way to get things at Ealing Broadway
rushed through some temporary contracts for work over Christmas 2017 on
stairs and the lift foundations. Unfortunately, the contract went to
who, even before they went bust, found they couldn’t do the
job. Crossrail say
they have an arrangement with Carillion’s staff and/or
persevere with this project.
Lifts. Last autumn,
Crossrail submitted to LBE a revised “Schedule
7” planning application, little
different to the one 3 years earlier. There were a few welcome changes
in the much criticised undersized lifts. Crossrail claimed the platform
lift was bigger to handle the expected passengers, but the drawings
the same size as previously. What is new is the lift entry/exit
This had been a “straight through” design with
passengers exiting at the end
opposite the entrance. This separate exit has unaccountably
effective capacity of the lift has been reduced and those with
buggies and bikes will have either to back in or back out. The plans
Hassles. Crossrail plans
replace the twice hourly Heathrow Connect service this May with new
running every 15 minutes. Here too it has snags. Too few new trains
built yet those they have still lack the software for
system and can only get to Hayes and Harlington. With insufficient
Heathrow Connect trains for a 4 per hour service, the present 2 trains
Heathrow Connect service is likely to run a while longer. Perhaps
will resort to a paint job on the existing trains to hide its
least the job pays well. But never mind the
naysayers and other odd cracks
now starting to show eg in The
Evening Standard. Things
remain upbeat in Crossrail’s corporate world. The PR
department runs at full
swing, pushing out positive messages whenever they can. Staff are also
quite nicely with their pay at the top end of the scale for public
look at pages 92 and 93 of the TfL
annual report and statement of accounts
2016-2017. Nice work if you can get it.