The future Elizabeth line station at Paddington has been formally handed over to TfL as part of the process of familiarising staff with their new stations.
Built below ground adjacent to the 19th-century main station building, the new Elizabeth line station has a 120-metre-long entrance canopy on Eastbourne Terrace, it extends four levels below Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road with entrances via a newly pedestrianised public area that connects to the existing mainline station.
TfL will be responsible for the station as the Infrastructure Manager and the contractor, Costain Skanska Joint Venture, will continue demobilisation from the site.
This is the sixth of the Elizabeth line stations to be transferred over to TfL, following Custom House, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road, Woolwich and Liverpool Street stations, which leaves only Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and the late running Bond Street to go.
When the line opens, London Underground will be responsible for the management of Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel Elizabeth line stations. MTR Elizabeth Line, on behalf of Rail for London will be responsible for Custom House, Paddington, Canary Wharf, Custom House and Woolwich Elizabeth line stations.
Delivery of the Elizabeth line is in its final stages, and the number of trains operating in the tunnels has increased from four trains per hour in May to eight trains per hour in June and reached 12 trains per hour on 12th July. This will be the initial level of service on the Elizabeth line when it enters passenger service in the first half of 2022.
Crossrail will also be trialling 24 trains per hour later this summer. These train movements are critical for increasing mileage across the network, supporting reliability growth of the railway and flushing out any issues with the systems and signalling software.
Trial Operations will commence later this year and is the final phase of testing to ensure the safety and reliability of the railway for public use. This includes real-time testing of more than 150 scenarios including evacuations of trains and stations before opening the Elizabeth line.
When the line opens next year, people coming in from the east via Canary Wharf will use the new station, while services coming in from the west will continue to use the mainline station.
Later next year, it’s planned that all services will use the new platforms, with a slightly better service for the Abbey Wood branch than the Shenfield branch, and then the whole lot is linked up in early 2023.