The Crossrail project is currently the biggest construction project in Europe and is one of the largest single infrastructure investments ever undertaken in the UK. Once complete in late 2018 the Elizabeth line, as it has now been officially titled, will run over 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
The Elizabeth line will have a brand new fleet of 66 ‘Class 345’ trains to operate the Transport For London (TfL) services. The first of the new trains was unveiled to the press at the train manufacturers, Bombardier Transportation UK, at their workshops in Derby on 29th July 2016 and I was fortunate to have an invite from TfL to attend.
The first completed train was being demonstrated on Bombardier’s test track whilst a second train, in an advanced stage of fitting out, was in a nearby building and available for examination. Some of the features are still being finalised so, for example, the colour of the material used for the seats in the passenger coaches will be different when the trains are eventually delivered and enter service. Nonetheless, it was possible to get a clear impression of what passengers can expect from these new trains once they are introduced into service from May 2017, initially between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
My photographs of the new Class 345 taken at the press event are available in this gallery;
Many thanks to TfL for the invitation to attend the press launch and to Bombardier Transportation UK for their hospitality.
Crossrail’s comprehensive website here http://www.crossrail.co.uk is packed with facts, figures and information about the progress of this project which will bring significant journey benefits to passengers along the route of the Elizabeth line when it opens.