New railway will provide additional routes, transform accessibility, support regeneration across the capital and provide a huge economic boost
Today, Bechtel joins Crossrail and Transport for London in celebrating the commencement of passenger services on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood, in central London. Named after Her Majesty the Queen, the Elizabeth line is the most significant addition to the capital’s transport network in a generation, and today’s opening takes place during Her Majesty’s 70th Jubilee year. The new railway will transform life and travel in London and the South East by reducing journey times, creating additional capacity, and transforming accessibility. The railway will be crucial to London’s recovery from the pandemic, providing a huge economic boost and helping to avoid a car-led recovery.
Bechtel has been working on the construction of the Elizabeth line since 2009 and has remained committed to the project delivery throughout. In addition, Bechtel was Network Rail’s partner for managing the redevelopment of Reading station and the extensive upgrades to the existing rail network outside London to make it compatible with the new line. The redevelopment programme at Reading station was completed under budget in 2014 and a year earlier than originally planned.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner said:
“Bechtel has been a key delivery partner throughout the project. It was great to be able to bring in Bechtel stations delivery and project controls experts - with whom I worked before - when TfL took over management of the project in 2020. Without question, their input helped get us across the line."
John Williams, Bechtel UK & Ireland Managing Director said:
“We are extremely proud to have been part of the team creating a truly world-class digital railway for London. Over 600 Bechtel colleagues have dedicated part of their professional lives to help deliver this mega project. Like the toughest and most iconic projects in history, the Elizabeth line sets a new world standard and will offer today’s passengers a leap in experience, similar to what it must have felt like when British engineers first began pioneering the underground through our capital over 150 years ago.”
When fully open, the Elizabeth line will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent and bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of central London. It will connect London’s main employment centres and support new journeys through central London to Essex, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. The railway stretches over 100km through central London from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Reading and Heathrow in the west, stopping at 42 stations (10 newly built and 31 newly upgraded) and is expected to serve around 200 million people each year.
The railway is starting passenger services during Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year, which coincides with Bechtel’s 70th year in the U.K.