HS2 take note: Crossrail finally takes shape after 11 years and £2billion pounds over budget

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HS2 take note: Crossrail finally takes shape after 11 years and £2billion pounds over budget… as deputy chief steps down

  • Crossrail is taking shape as the finishing touches are added to Farringdon, Paddington and Liverpool Street
  • The project’s deputy chief Chris Sexton, who was paid £230,707 in 2017/18, has announced he will step down
  • He will be replaced by former HS2 phase one managing director Jim Crawford, who was paid £393,000
  • The 73-mile railway built between Berkshire and Essex was meant to open in December 2018 initially 

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Crossrail is finally starting to take shape after 11 years and costs spiralling more than £2billion over budget in a lesson for big rail projects as HS2 continues to be dogged by delays. 

Workers were seen putting the finishing touches to station at Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Paddington along the 73-mile line today – although it is not expected to open until ‘summer 2021’.

It comes as the £18billion project’s deputy chief Chris Sexton, who was paid £230,707 in 2017/18, is replaced by former HS2 phase one managing director Jim Crawford, who was paid £393,000 while working on the national rail project which has seen estimated costs balloon to more than £88billion.

The Crossrail line – which will be named the Elizabeth line in the Queen’s honour – was expected to open in December 2018 after costing the public £15.9billion. 

However, continued delays and cancellations have repeatedly forced back the completion date and driven up costs. When open, the line will run underneath London between Berkshire and Essex. 

The HS2 rail project, which was first proposed by the Cameron government, was given the green light by Boris  Johnson’s government on  Tuesday. Its first phase is not expected to open until 2028.

Crossrail workers pictured putting the finishing touches to the new station at Liverpool Street as the line begins to take shape

Crossrail workers pictured putting the finishing touches to the new station at Liverpool Street as the line begins to take shape

Pictured above are escalators on the new line. It was meant to open in December 2018 but constant delays have seen this pushed back to as late as summer 2021

Pictured above are escalators on the new line. It was meant to open in December 2018 but constant delays have seen this pushed back to as late as summer 2021

New platform for Crossrail at Farringdon station (above). The beleaguered project has been plagued by spiralling costs

New platform for Crossrail at Farringdon station (above). The beleaguered project has been plagued by spiralling costs

A worker pictured walking through a Crossrail tunnel at Liverpool Street station. The line is not meant to open until 2021

A worker pictured walking through a Crossrail tunnel at Liverpool Street station. The line is not meant to open until 2021

A sign for Crossrail - which will be named the Elizabeth line in the Queen's honour - pictured after being unveiled for the line's stop in Paddington. It runs underneath London between Berkshire and Essex

A sign for Crossrail – which will be named the Elizabeth line in the Queen’s honour – pictured after being unveiled for the line’s stop in Paddington. It runs underneath London between Berkshire and Essex

Four escalators for the new line pictured at Liverpool Street station as a worker checks electrics at the station

Four escalators for the new line pictured at Liverpool Street station as a worker checks electrics at the station

A construction team worker peaks through the barrier at the new Crossrail Liverpool Street station

A construction team worker peaks through the barrier at the new Crossrail Liverpool Street station

A corridor for use by commuters has its electrics checked at Liverpool Street station

A grill is installed on a station platform (right) at Liverpool Street station

A corridor for use by commuters has its electrics checked (left) and a grill is installed on a station platform (right) at Liverpool Street station. The 73-mile line was initially planned to open in December 2018

Men pictured hard at work at the new platform for Liverpool Street - which won't open until Summer 2021

Men pictured hard at work at the new platform for Liverpool Street – which won’t open until Summer 2021

Workers are shown here gradually removing wooden protectors from the new escalators at the entrance to Liverpool Street

Workers are shown here gradually removing wooden protectors from the new escalators at the entrance to Liverpool Street

The platform at Paddington station, pictured today, appears to have been completed - but it won't open until 2021

The platform at Paddington station, pictured today, appears to have been completed – but it won’t open until 2021

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