The full opening of Crossrail could now be delayed until 2021, it has been reported.
The cross-London railway line, which will be named the Elizabeth Line after the monarch and will run between Reading and Shenfield in Essex, had been due to open in December 2018.
New trains have been introduced on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield, and Paddington to Hayes and Harlington routes, which currently operate as TfL Rail. However, it was announced last year that the section that runs through Central London would not open in December 2018 as planned.
The BBC has now cited ‘a senior source associated with the project’ as stating that it may not open for another two years.
It said that although Crossrail said testing of the trains and signalling was ‘progressing well’, sources had told it that this phase - known as dynamic testing - was ‘proving more difficult than was first thought’.
The source said: ‘It all depends on how dynamic testing goes between now and the end of this year. The last quarter of this year will be a critical period for the testing.’
According to the source, a ‘best case scenario’ would be an opening in spring 2020, while a ‘middle probability case’ would be the summer of next year and ‘a worst case is the spring of 2021’.
The BBC cited two other senior rail sources as saying that this assessment is ‘credible’.
Transport Network has approached Crossrail for comment.