Crossrail security breach as passenger travels by mistake on test train to Paddington

Crossrail at Paddington
Crossrail platform at Paddington seen earlier in the construction phase

London transport bosses investigated a serious security breach on Crossrail after a member of the public travelled on a test train by mistake.

The passenger got on board at Abbey Wood in south east London and travelled through the new tunnels to Paddington.

Platforms are meant to be out of bounds to the public but Crossrail boss Howard Smith said the man wandered through an open gate.

"Abbey Wood station is used by Southeastern trains, it's open, it's been built for several years," said Howard Smith.

"But the Elizabeth Line platforms should be closed off with a gate.

Crossrail trains wait for the completion of the Elizabeth Line at a depot at Old Oak Common

"The gate used by drivers to get to and from the trains was left open and a passenger innocently came down to the platform and boarded the train that they saw was marked Paddington which is where they wanted to go.

"As soon as they got off the train they were picked up by staff.

"They conducted an investigation and changed the arrangements regarding the gate keeping it locked and with regard to signage," Mr Smith added.

Howard Smith said there were staff on Crossrail platforms for "operational reasons" so the passenger was able to find their way out.

Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince added: "Whilst we're all frustrated and impatient for Crossrail's opening, it appears the Mayor can’t stop people skipping the queue.

"I can’t understand how this was allowed to happen. I hope Crossrail’s ‘increased security measures’ are robust enough to stop any future trespassers, although as the grand sum of it seems to be an extra gate lock at Abbey Wood station, I’m not that hopeful.

"Let's further hope that when Crossrail's safety and security testing has concluded it is more comprehensive than this shameful security breach suggests.

"Besides, I'm not sure the Mayor is going to make his money back if he keeps letting people ride for free."

Passenger services on London’s delayed and over budget Crossrail project are on track to begin by the end of June, according to Transport for London.

The railway will initially operate between Abbey Wood and Paddington and will be known as the Elizabeth line once services begin.

Crossrail was planned to open in full from Reading, Berkshire, to Shenfield, Essex, in December 2018, and was set a budget of £14.8 billion in 2010.

But it has been hit by numerous problems including construction delays and difficulties installing complex signalling systems.

The total cost of the project has been estimated to be £18.9 billion, including £5.1 billion from the Government.

The full timetable is scheduled to launch by May 2023.