Friday, 1 May 2009

Crossrail Safeguarded to Reading

The full Crossrail scheme was always supposed to get to Reading rather than Maidenhead but the link was pulled to reduce the costs as the business case wasn't as solid that far out of London. Also cut was the the Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet International link which would have provided a second link to the HS1 services that will be running by Southeastern by the time Crossrail opens, enabling people from south east London to access Eurostar service without going into Central London.

Along with the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (GWML) this could provide Reading with links to Central and East London as well as Essex and Kent with one train and not using the Underground. However the safeguarding now means that if the funds can be raised in the future it will be easier for Crossrail/TfL to achieve this.

The full DfT press statement is below

New Crossrail route safeguarded

The Government today safeguarded a potential Crossrail route from Maidenhead to Reading.
Whilst there is no current commitment to extend Crossrail out to Reading, safeguarding provides additional protection against future developments on the route.
Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said:
"Our current priority is to get on with the delivery of the Crossrail Project as it is currently planned, but safeguarding would provide additional protection against developments impacting on future operational requirements.
"Safeguarding will also allow the line to be electrified in the future and for Crossrail to be extended if a case can be made to do so."

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