Crossrail head hails progress on "world-class" rail system for London

London’s Crossrail project is on track just weeks away from hitting it’s midway point – a factor that becomes even more important in the second half of it’s development time, according to the man leading the scheme.

Speaking with ft.com, Andrew Wolstenholme explained how this will impact matters further down the line on the 120km rail line, which will run from Maidenhead through the centre of the city and out to eastern suburbs, with stops along the way.

He said: “Fitting out the stations and making a world-class railway are the larger risks, but if you’re not on time and on budget halfway through, then you are always going to constrain that second half.”

The £14.8 billion project is due to meet its halfway point towards the end of January 2014. In the first quarter of the year, a Crossrail train manufacturer will be chosen, followed by an operator by the end of the year. Civil engineering work is then expected to finish in early 2014, yet Crossrail will not be available to the public until 2018.

According to standard.co.uk, there is significant public support for a £12 billion Crossrail 2 rail link, with 95 per cent of the people responding to a public consultation supporting the concept. While Crossrail creates an east-west link, Crossrail 2 would be more of a north-south connection.

London Mayor Boris Johnson hopes to push forward Crossrail 2 “from concept to project” by May 2015, noted David Leam, director of infrastructure at London First, following the successful consultation.