The Elizabeth Line Committee has that Bond Street station will still struggle to open with the rest of the Elizabeth line, which is currently officially still “as soon as possible in the first half of 2022”.
Bond Street had been running a whopping 18-months behind schedule two years ago but had managed to catch up to being roughly 3-months behind schedule now.
With the opening of the Elizabeth line imminent, Bond Street has now met its requirement to support Trial Operations, this means the station is ready for full-scale passenger evacuations and emergency intervention.
A statement in the Committee minutes that the station “has been decoupled from the opening of the railway” was a reference to the testing of the Elizabeth line, not, as previously reported, not a confirmation that the station wouldn’t open.
There had also been some discussions last year looking into an idea that Bond Street station could be partially opened, either as interchange with the tube lines or with just one of the two new entrances opening.
The other outstanding station, Canary Wharf station, which needed a lot of remedial works, reportedly due to changes in fire safety regulations, had been due to be handed over to TfL last November. It’s now expected to be handed over in the next few weeks.
The Elizabeth line focused upgrades at Ilford and Romford stations are being carried out by Network Rail. Romford should be completed during April, and Ilford is being reviewed following problems with the concrete slab for the ticket hall.
Since the commissioning works over the Christmas period, train testing in the central tunnel section has been running 12 trains per hour with the new signalling software. This represents the initial level of service on the Abbey Wood to Paddington section of the Elizabeth line when it opens to passengers.
The last of the seven-car Elizabeth line trains operating between Liverpool Street and Shenfield were replaced with nine-car trains in December, and all of the seven-car trains are now based at Old Oak Common depot for use on the Reading to Paddington TfL Rail service while they are progressively converted to nine-car trains ahead of the post-opening upgrade of the Elizabeth line that will see Reading trains run through to Abbey Wood.
However, they note that further software upgrades have just been installed after the current train control systems were still not delivering the expected level of reliability.
Elsewhere, Crossrail has confirmed, as expected, that the Christmas updates to the train software to ELR110, and to the tunnel ventilation systems took place as planned.
The update to the tunnel systems was critical to running the mass evacuation trials, which are running two weeks later than planned, and due to start before the end of this month, once they clear out a backlog from the earlier trials.
Once complete, the trials will be followed by a period of shadow running, operating timetabled services ahead of the Elizabeth line’s eventual opening.
Updated 2:20pm – The story originally reported that Bond Street station would not open with the rest of the Elizabeth line. I’ve been informed that the statement in the minutes about decoupling referred only to testing, not the opening of the line.
The reference to Crossrail Board was incorrect, the meeting will be the Elizabeth Line Committee.