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Crossrail delay caused by fit-out setbacks

Delays to the fit-out of Crossrail’s new central stations and tunnels are behind the delivery body’s decision to push back the opening date for the line to autumn 2019.

Crossrail revealed this morning that the central section of the £15.4bn line would not open until autumn next year, at least nine months after the original December 2018 opening date.

A Transport for London spokeswoman told CN that the delay was due to the time set for testing stations and tunnels being compressed, after contractors were unable to meet deadlines for stations and tunnel fit-outs.

The spokeswoman said: “The fit-out of the tunnels and stations is taking longer than expected.

“There is no single element causing the delay – overall, the original programme for the testing has been compressed by more time needed for the contractors to complete the fit-out for the stations and the tunnels and all the railways systems software.”

In a freedom of information response received by Construction News in August 2017 (see table), the completion dates for all station and tunnel fit-outs were set for 3 August this year.

However, Crossrail revealed today that architectural fit-out of the central section stations was “drawing to a close” but had not yet been finished.

A meeting was held two days ago in which Crossrail informed TfL that it would no longer be able to meet the December deadline.

The TfL spokeswoman said: “That is obviously a really tough decision and there is no denying that it’s disappointing news.

“The most complicated part of the whole project this stage is where we are at now, which is bringing together all the different systems to make sure they talk to one another and make sure we provide a safe and reliable railway.”

Some testing work has begun in the tunnels and within the stations, but the three-month period until the slated opening was not enough to complete this work.

Test trains have been run on the eastern leg of the line between Abbey Wood and Custom House.

The news of Crossrail’s delay comes a month after the rail minister Jo Johnson revealed that Crossrail’s funding envelope would be increased to £15.4bn, up from the £14.8bn previously set aside.

As part of this, Crossrail was handed £300m to be spent on the installation of extra testing of systems on the central section of the line.

The Department for Transport said it was disappointed by the news that Crossrail’s opening date would be pushed back, but said passengers safety and the reliability of services was the priority.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “We accept Crossrail Limited’s assessment that more time is needed to fully test the railway before passenger operations can commence.

“We remain confident that Crossrail will deliver a great improvement to passengers’ journeys once it is fully operational.”

Crossrail package completion dates, as of August 2017

Contracts to be completed as of August 2017   
Contract Contractor Value (£) Expected completion date
Paddington New Yard Project Costain 30,326,819 03/08/2018
Victoria Dock Portal (Civil Works) Vinci 26,107,881 03/08/2018
Pudding  Mill Lane Portal (Miain Civils Works) Morgan Sindall  49,013,335 03/08/2018
Eleanor Street & Mile End Park Shafts (Civils Works) Costain / Skanska JV 39,438,930 03/08/2018
Paddington Station (Main Station Works, Fit Out + M&E) Costain / Skanska JV 147,103,295 03/08/2018
Bond Street Station (Main Station Works, Fit Out + M&E) Costain / Skanska JV 110,662,532 03/08/2018
Tottenham Court Road (Main Station Works, Fit Out + M&E) Laing O’Rourke 85,051,966 03/08/2018
Farringdon Station (Main Station Works, Tunnels, Fit Out + M&E) BFK Joint Venture 204,312,961 03/08/2018
Liverpool Street Station  (Main Station Works, Fit Out + M&E) Laing O’Rourke 123,599,892 03/08/2018
Liverpool St and Whitechapel Station (Early Access Shafts & SCL Works) BBMV Joint Venture 235,268,215 17/02/2018
Whitechapel Station (Main Station Works, Fit Out + M&E) BMV Joint Ventrure 109,716,986 03/08/2018
Custom House (Main Station Works) Laing O’Rourke 31,309,238 03/08/2018
Plumstead and Woolwich Fit Outs Balfour Beatty 69,637,269 03/08/2018
Track, OHLE & Logistics  ATC JV 292,763,368 03/08/2018
Railway Signalling & Control (Central Operating Section) Siemens Invensys JV 49,061,088 03/08/2018
Platform Screen Doors Knorr Bremse 27,443,990 03/08/2018
Central Section Traction Power Infrastructure Alstom Costain JV 15,695,131 03/08/2018
Non Traction High Voltage Power Alstom Costain JV 24,955,721 03/08/2018
Communications and Controls Systems  Siemens 43,267,630 03/08/2018
Plumstead Maintenance Facility ATC JV 25,793,732 31/12/2019
Ilford Yard Stabling Sidings VolkerFitzpatrick 53,439,798 09/09/2017



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