As delivery of the Elizabeth line now moves into its complex final stages, Crossrail Ltd is working to complete the remaining infrastructure so it can fully test the railway and successfully transition the project as an operational railway to Transport for London (TfL).

The programme has now reached the point when it can be handed over to TfL as the operator and maintainer of the railway. The process to handover the completed rail infrastructure is underway as Crossrail Ltdplans to start intensive operational testing, known as Trial Running, at the earliest opportunity in 2021. This marks the project’s key transition from construction to an operational railway.

TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT), joint sponsors of Crossrail, have worked closely with Crossrail LTdto agree the transition plan to move governance of the project to TfL. This ensures that decision making between Crossrail Ltd and TfL is seamless and fully aligned during the critical final phases of the programme as the operational testing is undertaken and the remaining parts of the railway are completed and transferred to TfL.

This transition will simplify responsibilities, with a single Elizabeth Line Delivery Group comprised of senior members of TfL, London Underground and Crossrail Ltd, under the chairmanship of Transport Commissioner Andy Byford. Under the new arrangementsc Crossrail chief executive officer, Mark Wild, will report directly to Andy Byford.

High-level oversight will be provided by a Special Purpose Committee of the TfL Board to be known as the Elizabeth Line Committee; this Committee will meet in public every eight weeks and include members of the TfL Board; it will also be attended by a special representative from the DfT as joint sponsor of the project and given its national significance.

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “I would like to thank Crossrail chair Tony Meggs and the Crossrail Board who have led the delivery of this vital project through the remaining construction and systems testing to a point where increased testing of trains in the central tunnels will begin shortly.

“As it gets closer to becoming an operational railway the time is right for the responsibility for Crossrail to transfer to TfL and the people who will run it. Mark Wild and his team will now work with me to safely achieve the earliest possible opening date for what will be a magnificent addition to London’s transport network.”

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