Crossrail reveals best and worst case scenarios for Elizabeth line opening date - International Burch University
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Crossrail reveals best and worst case scenarios for Elizabeth line opening date

Crossrail Ltd has revealed the best- and worst-case scenarios that it is working towards for the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

February 2022 is earmarked as the earliest possible opening date of the railway, with June 2022 recorded as the latest possible opening date.

A third possible opening date of April 2022 is also included in a Project Status Update released ahead of this week’s Elizabeth Line Committee meeting.

The April date is listed as the P50 date, meaning it is the middle value of the range of estimates, based on Crossrail Ltd’s modelling.

All three dates are within Crossrail’s previously declared opening window of the first half of 2022.

As revealed last week by NCE, an alternative opening date of 14 May 2021 appeared in a TfL bus study. However, that date has been refuted by Crossrail Ltd who claim it is an error.

TfL commissioner Andy Byford had previously challenged his team to get the line open before the end of this year. However, any hope of a 2021 opening looks to have now been firmly extinguished.

In its latest publicly available Project Representative report, Jacobs is critical of senior management “aspirations” for delivering the Elizabeth line.

It states: “To date, it is evident that schedule planning and delivery is heavily influenced by senior management aspirations for the earliest opening of the Elizabeth Line. […] With key strategic risks now materialising, realistic productivity measures to underpin the schedule will be difficult to derive.

“Continued planning to target dates will drive out-of-sequence working and deferral of works that will require operational restrictions and import risk into the schedule.”

The report adds: “To be successful, CRL will need to achieve all its risk mitigations and/or scope reductions. We are concerned that by focussing on delivery to meet target dates, CRL may consume its risk allowances in mitigation, such that the target dates may be met, but spending [increases].”

In response to Jacobs latest report, Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild said that he and Crossrail as a  whole “take these concerns seriously”.

He added that all possible opening dates are reviewed every four weeks

He added: “During the four-weekly reviews, maintenance of the P50 scenario is reviewed to a greater extent including updating the modelling in cognisance of changes to the risk profile.

“It is useful to demonstrate the robustness of CRL’s planning scenarios using the Trial Running with 4TPH milestone which was achieved on 10 May 2021: this milestone was achieved six weeks later than the deterministic schedule but a week earlier than the P50 schedule demonstrating a dependable schedule logic.

“In a similar vein, while there is pressure on the Trial Operations Deterministic date, this pressure is likely containable within the DCS1.1 P50 Baseline.

“An important critical-friend capability that CRL utilises is the active engagement of its independent, expert special advisors. These individuals have been brought in along the development to challenge and advise on CRL’s work.

“Furthermore, the TfL Commissioner is actively engaged in the baseline update and key interventions underpinning it.”


Department of Civil Engineering