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Crossrail has unveiled plans to complete outstanding works on the Elizabeth Line and open for operations by March 2021.

The rail operator has identified a six-month delivery window, with a midpoint at the end of next year, to deliver the project.

The central section of the Elizabeth line will begin services between Paddington and Abbey Wood, connecting the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf and southeast London.

All stations along the route will open with the exception of Bond Street, which will be delayed due to designing changes.

After the opening of the central section, full services on the Elizabeth Line between Reading and Heathrow in the west, to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will start at as soon as possible.

“Crossrail is an immensely complex project and there will be challenges ahead, particularly with the testing of the train and signalling systems.”

Crossrail identified four major tasks that are required to be completed before commencing operations.

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It includes development and testing software that will integrate the train’s operating system with three different signalling systems; deploying and testing vital station systems, installation of equipment in the tunnels, and communications systems testing.

Additionally, several hours of trial runs of the trains will be conducted before the line is opened.

Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild said: “Crossrail is an immensely complex project and there will be challenges ahead, particularly with the testing of the train and signalling systems, but the Elizabeth line is going to be incredible for London and really will be worth the wait.

“This new plan will get us there and allow this fantastic new railway to open around the end of next year.”

Originally, Elizabeth Line was scheduled to open in December last year. But it was subjected to multiple delays due to testing and incomplete signalling work.

In December, Transport for London (TfL), the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London agreed to a revised financing package to deliver the project.

This additional funding will be used to complete the pending central section works.