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Thu November 26 2020

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Tube boss seconded to sort out Crossrail

5 Nov 18 London Underground managing director Mark Wild has been drafted in to rescue the Crossrail project, which has come unstuck in its final stages.

Mark Wild
Mark Wild

With trains expected to start running in December 2018, Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenhome departed in March and handed over the reins to programme director Simon Wright. Since then, it has emerged that Mr Wolstenhome’s legacy was not as rosy as advertised.  Problems with the commissioning and testing process have pushed opening back to autumn 2019 at the earliest and costs have escalated from £14.8bn to £15.4bn.

Mark Wild will now lead project through its final phases, including trial running, trial operations and the opening of the central section. He joins Crossrail from London Underground, where he has been managing director since moving to the UK from Australia in June 2016. He will return to his role at London Underground once the Elizabeth line has opened through central London. He will initially work alongside Simon Wright who will step down as chief executive of Crossrail Ltd later this year.

While Mark Wild is at Crossrail, London Underground director of network operations Nigel Holness will step up to the role of managing director. He will take up his previously-announced position of deputy chief executive for Metro Trains Sydney at a later date.

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Mike Brown, London's Transport Commissioner, said: "The Elizabeth line is the single most significant addition to London's transport infrastructure in a generation. It is absolutely vital that Crossrail Ltd completes the job of delivering it safely and reliably for London. Mark's extensive knowledge and experience of delivering major signalling and systems integration projects will be vital for the final stages of the project."

Simon Wright, Crossrail Chief Executive said: "Everyone involved in the project is fully focused on ensuring the Elizabeth line is completed as quickly as possible. With the construction phase due to come to an end later this year, the major focus for Crossrail will be the integration of the complex railway systems and the start of full-time testing."

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