11:38AM, Friday 31 August 2018
The launch of the new Elizabeth Line in central London has been pushed back until autumn 2019 — prompting uncertainty about when it will be rolled out in Maidenhead, Slough and surrounding stations.
The section between Paddington and Abbey Wood was due to launch in December, but Crossrail has said further time is required to 'ensure a safe and reliable railway for customers from day one of passenger service'.
The project was set to be open fully from Reading and Heathrow in December 2019, but Crossrail is yet to say whether a new date has been set for the launch.
In a statement, it said: "The focus remains on opening the full Elizabeth line, from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, as soon after the central tunnels open as possible."
The delay is due to extra time needed to complete the 'final infrastructure and extensive testing' required ahead of the launch.
Simon Wright, Crossrail chief executive said: “The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK and is now in its final stages.
"We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway. We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth line.”
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