Meanwhile, a very interesting article on London Reconnections today which suggests that even if the testing hadn’t been an issue, stations would.
Exactly. There are multiple issues but in essence physical construction at stations is late that then delays fit out, commissioning and testing. Continued work on stations restricts what can be done on the track. The loss of testing time after the substation explosion combined with a number of issues including reduced hours of testing, low productivity during testing, immature software development and more time needed for resolution. Terry Morgan also told the Assembly this morning that when they mitigated one risk they found other risks emerging. It therefore got to the point, despite multiple attempts at risk mitigation and programme revision, that they had to conclude that they had run out of time to provide a railway that was operable, safe and reliable.
The Crossrail CEO also confirmed the sequence of operational testing and familiarisation, shadow timetable operation and trial operations would take several months. Crossrail Ltd had an independent assessment made of remaining work vs time to assist them and Sponsors in understanding the issues. The bit that was a bit bizarre is that the way the Crossrail governance structure works the Mayor only knew a day or two before the public statement was made of the delay. It seems Crossrail Ltd has had years of very considerable "room for manoeuvre" in respect of its own decision making without needing frequent cross checks / approvals from Sponsors. The Mayor's comment on this suggested he wasn't particularly happy with the arrangement but it was too late to change it.
While it is very disappointing to have a delay it is reassuring that the management team and Crossrail Board had the "b*lls" to take the difficult decision in time.
There have been Paddington-Reading services since 1840. Is Crossrail not simply going to take over existing paths?
I thought the GWML service was subject to a timetable recast at some point fairly soon? That, if I understand comments made elsewhere, provides the building blocks for the later transfer of elements of the GWR suburban services to later switch to be Crossrail services while allowing GWR to retain an off peak semi fast Reading to Paddington service. I doubt Paddington has enough space for TfL to take over all GWR suburban peak services as there are issues with platform lengths / stepping gaps for 9 car class 345s. Is there also a potential issue arising from Crossrail's delay that may put in jeopardy GWR's ability to release class 387s to take over HEX services? I may have that wrong as I'm not entirely certain on the detailed timing of that transfer.
Also delays to transfer of services causes problems for TfL, DfT and GWR in terms of their respective contracts and assumed costs and revenues. Alongside everything else that's up for debate / reconsideration we have yet another franchise / concession contract set of issues to deal with.
Post by occasionaltraveller on Sept 17, 2018 16:37:18 GMT
I believe GWR were due a timetable recast in December, but that has now been deferred to next May to ensure that Network Rail have enough time to plan the timetable properly - preventing a repeat of the Thameslink debacle.
That said, there's no real reason that TfL couldn't take over the GWR suburbans in December 2018 as planned, running into Paddington High Level (though probably now branded TfL Rail rather than Elizabeth Line). These would be the all-stops services: GWR retain the semi-fasts. That then releases 387s for refitting as an airport service rather than commuter rail.
The deadline for 387s to Heathrow is end of 2019, because that's when the current Heathrow Express depot at Old Oak Common is due to be demolished to make way for HS2.
387s may also be the only solution to the Heathrow tunnels signalling issue. If GW ATP and ETCS really can't be made to co-operate, get ETCS working on the 387 (which is supposed to support it), then one night cut over to the new signalling and relaunch Heathrow Express with the new trains. It saves getting permission from the Office of Rail and Road to retrofit the tunnels with AWS+TPWS.
GWR have contracted with Porterbrook to lease 19x 4-car Class 769 Flex, which is a Class 319 (ex-Thameslink) retrofitted with diesel engines as a 'tri-mode', retaining its pantograph and third-rail shoes. The press release stated that these would be used from spring 2019 to cover for 387s while being refurbished. However, the project is running late: the first one of the original 8-unit order for Northern has only just left Wabtec (who are doing the conversion) for initial testing. Spring 2019 is looking unlikely!
Today’s Board Meeting at City Hall gives a pathetic (or very telling) two pages to Crossrail regurgitating what has already been picked up on by those on this forum and London Reconnections.
Section 2 is set to be very well used this time round.
At the Transport Cttee session last week Sir Terry Morgan confirmed that Crossrail Ltd Board meeting papers would be released and published for future meetings. He did, though, warn that the papers would be subject to some redaction because those Board meeting have no "part one / part two" structure unlike local government ones. He also wryly noted that there would be obvious pressure to minimise the level of redaction. This was in response to the very pointed remarks Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, made about the project's governance structure and her saying "if we were starting a project like this now I would not have the governance structure that was used for Crossrail". She added "giving flexibility and autonomy is fine when things go well but it doesn't work when things go wrong and people demand to know why action was taken earlier to prevent a waste of public money". If Crossrail 2 ever happens I expect there to be some fun and games between DfT and City Hall as to how governance and transparency work for that project.
TfL Board Papers haven't been saying very much about Crossrail for many months. The transition update papers have also stopped which reflects that the transition to an operating railway ain't happening any time soon. It also poses some interesting issues about those activities which have already moved from Crossrail to TfL - will TfL be able to resource a higher than anticipated level of Crossrail related works given the extended duration of the project?
Post by revupminster on Sept 20, 2018 17:18:26 GMT
The GWR timetable in January for InterCity trains is expected to be the same as for HST without the accelerated timings the electric trains would have given. They are having lots of problems with the 800's and 802's but most of the HST's will be gone by then.
Electric locals to Newbury, The Devon Metro, and the half hour service between Exeter and Penzance is expected to start as planned.
 by this I mean extra on top of the July funding statement where TfL have to fork out tens of millions extra.
The original Crossrail budget agreed in 2007 was £15.9b. In 2010 as an emergency measure by the Treasury, without any consultation and based upon no concrete evidence whatsoever, the Treasury arbitrarily cut £1.1b from the budget despite being told by DfT and TfL that it was too much, especially as actual construction work had only started 11-months earlier! So the revised budget was £14.8b. A few weeks ago it was announced that the budget would increase from £14.8b to £15.4b of which £300m was going directly to NR. However, it would not surprise me if DfT were trying to offset some of that against the TfL budget rather than central funding. It's also possible that because of factors beyond the control of TfL, some addition funding is needed and DfT are trying to force more out of TfL. There is a lot of scuttlebutt around that DfT are (having already cut the £700m revenue grant) trying to force TfL to pay most if not all from its own crippled budget. The talk is that DfT want TfL to defer the new tube programme (other than the Piccadilly Line) by a further 10-years (at least) as they don't consider the Bakerloo, Central and W&C Lines as in desperate need of new trains!