Crossrail chief executive officer Andrew Wolstenholme has said he is “cautiously confident” the line will open on time.
Speaking at the Westminster Forum event ’Delivering Crossrail and next steps for Crossrail 2’, he said there were five items still on the critical path to allow the line to open on time: completion of the stations, £2.3bn worth of work which Network Rail must complete on the Great Western Main Line and Anglian Rail, introduction of the rolling stock and depots, and the property above the stations.
Wolstenholme described the Network Rail aspect of the remaining work as a “hugely complicated programme of work” but he was confident the organisation was “very well planned and organised” and could finish the work on time.
“Some of things are highly visible [Network Rail has to do] and demonstrable as to whether they’ve done it or not,” he said. Some of the work they’ve done over Christmas applying the data overlay to the very complicated signalling systems are some of the things you can’t see. But Network Rail are very, very well planned and organised to do that work.”
He said in the past, issues had arisen for Network Rail but since then it had improved significantly.
“Three or four years ago, there were some overruns and those were very public,” he said. “But for the last two Christmases you haven’t been able to write about them because Network Rail has done it so well.
“We’re confident that Network Rail can do the work on time, but you have to manage these risks carefully so you can’t be sure, but we’re cautiously confident about that.”
On stations Wolstenholme said station finishes were going in on some stations and others would need a further six to seven months to complete.