Sign-off by the industry regulator clears the way for Transport for London to open Elizabeth line to passengers on Tuesday 24th May.
Abbey Wood, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Whitechapel and Woolwich stations have all been issued with authorisations.
Bond Street has been given the go-ahead only for safe evacuation procedures, as it will open for passengers later than the rest of the line.
ORR has also authorised the overall routeway for the Elizabeth line’s track and tunnel infrastructure, to allow trains to run through the central section. The line was known as Crossrail during its construction.
Regulations set out that no new or upgraded infrastructure or rolling stock can be put into use on or as part of Britain’s rail system unless ORR has provided an ‘interoperability authorisation for the placing in service’ to ensure it meets appropriate requirements.
ORR has been working closely with, and assessing several aspects of, the Crossrail project over the last two years to ensure it meets the necessary technical, safety and accessibility requirements before it can open to passengers.
Steve Fletcher, deputy director of engineering and asset management at the Office of Rail and Road, 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 co-operation 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 schedule opening date of 24th May.”
Elizabeth line director Howard Smith said: “With final preparations underway ahead of opening the Elizabeth line on Tuesday 24 May, we have been working closely with ORR on getting the final authorisations for our stations, trains and other infrastructure that will mean we can operate the new railway safely and reliably for all our future customers.”