The first Elizabeth line train has undergone testing in the brand new tunnels through London.
A significant milestone, the train was driven from Abbey Wood into the new tunnels at Plumstead Portal and under the Thames towards the Connaught Tunnel before returning to the station.
With less than a year until the new rail line opens in London – one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe – testing is the next step to ensure that the line is ready.
Built by Bombardier engineers in Derby, the test run of the Elizabeth line train is the first of hundreds that will take place between now and December 2018.
This latest milestone – coming hot on the heels of confirmation that the project is more than 90% complete – is the start of a rigorous testing process of the railway and signalling infrastructure to make sure that safe and reliable services are in place once this Elizabeth line train and others like it are operational.
The Elizabeth line also supports the draft Transport Strategy outlined by the Mayor of London that wants to improve public transport and reduce reliance on car journeys.
Howard Smith is the Operations Director for the Elizabeth line, which will be run by Transport for London (TfL). He is “thrilled” that testing has started.
He said: “This is a huge milestone for the project, nine years after construction first began. I’m thrilled to see the first train make its maiden voyage from Abbey Wood through the brand new tunnels.
“Crucial testing is now underway to validate the safety and reliability of the Elizabeth line ahead of the launch. We look forward to welcoming customers onto our new railway this December, when their experience of travelling across London will be transformed for the better.”
As the year goes on, signage will be installed in stations serviced by Crossrail, and the interior work at these locations will also be completed.