It is Europe’s bigger infrastructural rail project at this moment: the Crossrail project in, under and around London. Under construction since 2009, it is scheduled to open in December 2018. Then commuters can make use of a new 118-kilometer railway line (of which 21 kilometer in tunnels) in the British capital and its home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.
Since 2014 we know Bombardier will be providing the new trains for Crossrail. Since 2012 the company was developing its Aventra platform in the United Kingdom to be able to place the right bid for the contract. For a sum of 1 billion pounds 65 articulated trains will be built. The series designation will be Class 345. Bombardier will erect a special workshop for the trains, where it will maintain the fleet for a period of 32 years.
In November 2015 Bombardier revealed the final design for the Aventra specifically for the Crossrail. We see a train with a different front design and a new livery. The blue/purple theme colors are still there, as purple will be the main color for Crossrail line, that will be rebranded as ‘Elisabeth Line’ as soon as it will open.
On 29.07.2016, Bombardier revealed the first completed train at its Derby plant in the UK. At that moment two trains were ready to go. Now a period of trials and testing will follow. First revenue earning services are planned for May 2017 on the connection Liverpool Street – Shenfield. The trains used here will be 7-car formations, as the station platforms are too short for longer compositions. Later 9-car trains will follow.
On 19.08.2016, the first Elizabeth line Aventra left the factory perimeter, bound to Old Dalby for testing.
Our first train is off to Old Dalby for testing on the tracks there pic.twitter.com/F8X2dQbFPH
— Elizabeth line (@elizabethline) August 19, 2016
22.06.2017: First passengers!
— TfL Rail (@TfLRail) June 22, 2017