You did not have to go far to hear the rumours of the delays on the Crossrail works in Central London. The cafes and pubs around Paddington Railway Station have been opening talking about it for months where many who work on the Crossrail project have lunch and a drink after work, that the Elizabeth line was not going to be ever completed by the 9th of December 2018.
In the Far East they will be laughing at our woes over Crossrail ( and HS2). As in the time since 2008 when Crossrail got formal government approval, the Chinese have built the most extensive network of High Speed rail in the World, 15,000 km of railway lines. For example the two ring high speed rail service known as Nanlong Railway link in Fujian province is 248 km long and has 99 bridges and 82 tunnels and due to open in the beginning of the 2019. So we clearly must improve our project management and learn from what is being done in the Far East in delivering major transport infrastructure projects in London and the UK.
Quite honestly the way its going it will not be opened before the next Mayoral contest in 2020 and l will not be surprised if its not well into the next term before its complete to hand over.
Indeed at the rate the Brunel Building is going up – increasingly casting a shadow across the whole of Little Venice and spoiling its skyline – it will be finished and let before the first Crossrail train is operational across the whole of London. Who could have for seen that at all?
So if the Crossrail boss has no idea of the revised launch date, it maybe useful for him to spend some time at the cafes and bars of Paddington to find out.
This was published as a letter in the Spring addition of SEBRA News W2