Fit-out work on Crossrail’s £110m Bond Street upgrade is running behind schedule and is not expected to be completed before the end of the year.
CN understands that the Bond Street construction programme has suffered a number of setbacks over the past 18 months, and would not have been able to open if Crossrail services had begun as planned in December.
Delays at Bond Street had been flagged by Transport for London finance committee papers in February.
Crossrail has now confirmed that Bond Street will be delayed until at least 2019, with a spokesman telling CN that the site’s programme had been challenging due to the “complex station build required”.
A Costain / Skanska JV is currently carrying out the £110m main station works contract for Bond Street station.
A Crossrail spokesman said: “Station construction activity is drawing to a close with the completion of the remaining mechanical, electrical and communications systems along with architectural fit-out in the new central section stations.
“All stations will complete by the end of the year with the exception of Bond Street.”
Crossrail: What’s really delaying it
CN investigates the detailed reasons behind the scheme’s nine-month setback – and whether more delays could follow.
A source close to the project said that progress on Bond Street had stuck out like a “sore thumb” when compared with the other stations and had been a “basket case” for the last 18 months.
CN understands that significant pieces of equipment had been installed late at Bond Street, which had a knock-on effect on programme deadlines.
The source said: “If the trains had been ready […] to run in December then [Crossrail] wouldn’t have been able to open Bond Street.”
When asked by CN when Bond Street might be completed, Crossrail said it could not provide a specific date.
Crossrail revealed in August that the completion of the £15.4bn Elizabeth line would not meet its original December 2018 completion date, with the line now not expected to open until autumn next year.
CN understands that Bond Street station is still set to be completed well before the revised autumn 2019 opening date, and was not one of the major reasons for Crossrail delaying the opening by nine months.
In a statement given to CN on the delays to the overall project, Crossrail chief executive Simon Wright said: “The original programme for testing has been compressed by a delayed start and more time being needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and the development of railway systems software.
“The construction works are coming to a conclusion but we need more time to test and successfully integrate the numerous complex systems to ensure a safe and reliable railway.”
Speaking to BBC Radio London last week, mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that he could not be sure when the Elizabeth line would open.
He said: “At some stage I will come out and say what the revised timetable is, but only when I’ve got the confidence in that revised timetable.”
Full-scale dynamic testing is expected to start on the line on 22 October.
In a meeting with the London Assembly Transport Committee last month, Mr Wright said that it could take three to four months after dynamic testing starts before Crossrail could give a definitive date on when the line would open.
“Until you get into this process of fixing bugs, it is very difficult indeed to be definitive and know how many times you have to go through the cycle,” he said.
“We have made an allowance, we have made an estimate and we also allowed risk against that; we have been quite cautious and careful about these estimates.”
When contacted for comment, Bond Street contractors Costain and Skanska referred CN to Crossrail.