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May 16, 2022

ORR issues final authorisation for Elizabeth line opening

The Elizabeth line in London is scheduled to commence operations on 24 May 2022.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the economic and safety regulator of Britain’s railway, has officially issued approval for the opening of the Elizabeth line in London.

The regulator issued final authorisations for Elizabeth line’s track and tunnel infrastructure and all stations except Bond Street.

The ORR approval comes as final preparations are currently underway ahead of the Elizabeth line’s scheduled opening on 24 May 2022.

ORR Engineering and Asset Management deputy director Steve Fletcher said: “Delivery of the Elizabeth line is in its very final complex stages, but we’ve been working closely with the Crossrail project and Transport for London for some time to ensure smooth progress of authorisations. 

“This cooperation means we’ve been able to provide these approvals in a timely manner and ensure this state-of-the-art railway can enter into service safely and reliably for passengers, and meet the scheduled opening date of 24 May.”

According to an ORR statement, the regulator issued authorisations for Abbey Wood, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Whitechapel and Woolwich stations.

Bond Street, which is slated to open later, received approval for safe evacuation procedures only.

The regulations also include that new or upgraded infrastructure or rolling stock can be put into use only after an ORR authorisation.

Built by Crossrail, the Elizabeth line will stretch more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

It can be accessed through 41 stations, including ten new stations.

Previously, ORR approved the Elizabeth line Class 345 fleet to operate on the line. It recently also approved the use of the Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) to facilitate communications between drivers and signallers.

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