The first section of railway to be used by Crossrail trains has been laid on Stockley Flyover, a new railway bridge in west London. However, it will be top- performing Heathrow Express that makes use of Crossrail first.
The 120-metre long Stockley Flyover connects Heathrow Airport with the main line and will be used by Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services from next year. Engineers claim it is the largest single-span bridge to have been installed on the Great Western since the days of Brunel. The flyover means trains heading into London will be able to join the Great Western main line without being delayed by other trains using the route.
Staff were congratulated by a delighted Matthew Steele, Crossrail programme director at Network Rail. ‘After four years of planning it is great to see this new infrastructure being brought into service, well done to everyone involved,’ said Matthew.
Crossrail services between London Paddington and Heathrow will begin in 2018. From 2019, the full route will open. Up to four Crossrail trains an hour will link Heathrow with central London and beyond. Passengers will be able to reach Bond Street in 26 minutes and Canary Wharf in 40 minutes.
More than 23 miles, nearly 90 per cent, of the tunnels are now complete, with tunnelling expected to finish in spring next year. Six of Crossrail’s eight tunnelling machines have now completed their drives. The construction of 10 new stations in central and southeast London is more than half complete. Work continues round the clock beneath the streets of London with more than 10,000 people working directly on Crossrail at 40 construction sites. Next year will see the focus of the project shift to fitting out the stations and tunnels.