Crossrail costs spiral to £19bn as 2022 opening confirmed

The Crossrail board has confirmed that it needs needs another £1.1bn to complete the delayed rail project, meaning the total cost is set to top £19bn.

Crossrail bosses have confirmed that the new track, known as the Elizabeth Line, will not be ready until 2022, more than three years after its original scheduled opening date of December 2018.

The central section, which runs between Paddington in west London and Abbey Wood in the east, had been due to open next summer. But last month Crossrail confirmed that due to the coronavirus pandemic, this deadline was “no longer achievable” after construction halted in March.

The latest update from the Crossrail board states that the cost to complete the project could be £1.1bn more than the agreed financing package, agreed in 2018, and £450m more than estimates given in November 2019.

Crossrail is now expected to be more than £4bn over its original budget.

Mark Wild, Crossrail chief executive, said: “We have a comprehensive plan to complete the railway and we are striving to commence intensive operational testing for the Elizabeth line, known as trial running, at the earliest opportunity.”

Crossrail said it intends to begin operational testing in 2021 before moving on to a final phase, which involves testing the service with a small number of passengers.

Image: Crossrail

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  1. London, London. There are other parts of the U.K. who would just love to have some of the Billions being spent.
    Why has the cost spiralled due to Covid 19? nobody has been working, material prices must have stayed the same.

    Has the senior management salaries gone up due to Covid 19.

    Disappointed Northwestern’er.

  2. Clearly, something is not right and needs to be fixed, despite the plethora of guides published by the (IPA) Infrastructure Projects Authority, and the expertise required to produce these guides, the problem of time and cost overrun still remains.

    The (IPA) has a series of Delivery Confidence Assessments (DCA) used on this project, if these were adequate then the project would not be in the mess, and everything should not be blamed or buried under the COVID tombstone. Aside the health and financial impacts COVID in my opinion we have sadly observed an abundance ignorance and selfishness, and an excuse for corporate poor performance, poor customer care and lack of due consideration for many employees. These (DCA) Assessments are evidently either not fit for purpose, insofar as either the application or the functionality of the (DCA), for instance, some key considerations ought to include:

    1) Are the right assessment questions being asked to the right people at the right time?
    2) Are the answers and responses honest and reliable?
    3) Are the people being adequately scrutinized and held to account?
    4) Are people project leadership behaviors, sincere, honest, trustworthy and reliable, or are they motivated through egos or political agendas, or preservation?
    5) Are the team making the assessment truly independent and making unbiased analytical assessments, or have they been influenced or worse fear of their career being influenced in the future by the ecosystem of the corporate construction industry?
    6) Competences and interests of both assessors and project teams?
    7) Has the information provided by the project team for the assessment been benchmark reliability tested or worse still has it been fabricated for deceiving others?
    8) Does the assessment have enough depth or breadth and is the assessment time duration not enough, does it need to be full time on such important projects?
    9) Does the assessment of cover project performance analytics, to understand the details?
    10) Does the assessment include sample site measurement and verification, to proof check the data?

    Despite the hard work of the majority of workers involved in this project, these (DCA) Delivery Confidence Assessments are clearly not acting or serving in the best interests of the UK public, the consequences of which will be felt for many years to come, as long term Government debt to be paid by future generations of UK taxpayers, such as our children.

  3. This is an extremely challenging project by any standards, and to try at this stage hold people accountable for cost over runs can only be described as premature judgement, you have to fully understand the complexity of this project, before you pass any judgement whatsoever, and I mean, FULLY UNDERSTAND!!!!.

  4. Same old same old, it’s the only place that matters. If you’re from the north you know the story by now. We’re only jealous of their glorious city, moving the lordships to York, you must be taking the proverbial. That won’t happen ever, best to sack the lot they won’t be missed up here 😸

  5. Hugh has it spot on. When the project is finished and the details can come out everyone will understand why there has been the substantial delay and cost increase (and these go hand in glove). This was a model project aside from one major oversight, something that will go into PM literature and other documents for the foreseeable future.

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