Mayor of London is first to sneak a ride on Crossrail to Canary Wharf
PUBLISHED: 15:20 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 September 2016
PA/Press Association Images
The Mayor of London today was the first passenger to ride Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line—two years before London’s new ‘super tube’ opens to the public.
Sadiq Khan hitched a lift through the tunnel to Canary Wharf in an engineers’ locomotive after arriving at the Custom House construction site to meet workers and apprentices to mark completion of three-quarters of the £15 billion project.
“I visited the Canary Wharf station site as Transport Minister in 2010 when construction had just got underway,” he recalled.
“The project is now 75 per cent complete and is on time and within budget, which shows the hard work of the thousands of men and women on this project.”
The mayor was joined by Crossrail’s chief executive Andrew Wolstenhome who admitted there were still barriers to plough through to complete the rest of the renamed Elizabeth line.
Mr Wolstenhome said: “The remaining 25pc will present a new set of challenges as we finish installing the critical components that will transform this major project into an operating railway, to hand over in time to Transport for London in 2018.”
Work began at Canary Wharf in 2009. Half the tracks have now been laid and nearly all the platform structures are finished at the 10 new stations—including Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street—with ‘step free’ access to the trains.
The Elizabeth Line gives east London a ‘super fast’ route to the City and West End, with direct “no changing” access to Heathrow and Reading.
The line going east splits at Whitechapel, one branch to Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood, the other to Stratford and Shenfield taking over TfL’s commuter service from Liverpool Street.
The ‘Elizabeth’ will carry 200 million passengers a year across Greater London, while directly linking Essex and Kent in the east to Berkshire in the west.