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American Shipper

London’s ?16 billion Crossrail project ready to roll

London’s ú16 billion Crossrail project ready to roll

A '16 billion rail project designed to boost London’s transport capacity by 10 percent last night completed its Parliamentary process after receiving Royal Assent.

   The Crossrail project will become the largest civil engineering project in Europe. Construction will start in 2010 with the first trains expected to run in 2017. When complete a 118.5-kilometer (73.6 miles) line will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through tunnels under central London — with new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) — then out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. There will be 24 trains per hour in each direction through central London during peak times.

   The U.K. government estimates Crossrail will add at least '20 billion to the country’s wider economy and support an expected 30,000 new jobs by 2026, 14,000 of which will be involved in the line’s construction.

   “This landmark project is of major significance to both London and the whole country. It will generate jobs and economic growth, help re-vitalize some of our most deprived areas and deliver major improvements for the traveling public,” said Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly.

   “Crossrail has been talked about for decades, so I am delighted that now we have secured both the funding package and parliamentary approval work can finally begin to deliver this fantastic project.”