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Crossrail project 'still has considerable risks'

There are still considerable risks in delivering a multi-billion cross-London railway programme by its target time of 2019, an influential group of MPs have concluded.

Crossrail engineers wait for the thousand tonne tunneling machine, Victoria, to break into the underground station at Whitechapel Credit: PA

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warned the £15.8 billion Crossrail project had been undersold by the Department for Transport (DfT).

As a result, the DfT had mixed success securing contributions from businesses and Heathrow Airport Ltd would now only provide £70 million - less than a third of the funding originally agreed.

Costing £14.8 billion, with the trains costing a further £1 billion, Crossrail will stretch from Reading in Berkshire to the west as far east as Shenfield in Essex and will transform cross-London train journeys.

However, PAC praised the project for being "broadly on schedule and delivered within budget"


Thames Tunnel to be unveiled in London

The Thames Tunnel, a nearly two-mile railway line that will help connect Reading in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex as part of the Crossrail project, will be unveiled by the Chancellor today.

The Crossrail project's new Thames Tunnel will be unveiled by George Osborne today. Credit: PA

Part of the £14.8 billion Crossrail project, it is expected to cut journey times and boost rail capacity in London.

George Osborne said the project will provide a major boost the economy.

"As part of our long term economic plan we are investing in infrastructure around the country to create a more balanced, resilient economy," he said.

"Crossrail is not only providing extra speed and capacity for London's passengers, but also supporting new housing, jobs and businesses."

The project is expected to generate 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the UK, according to the Government.

  1. Chris Choi

The race to Bombardier's billion

There have been so many twists and turns in the crossrail bidding process, Hollywood should take an interest.

The Derby firm at times looked like the underdog, overshadowed by the giant, Siemens. The Germans delivered a painful blow to the midlands team when they got the massive Thameslink contract.

A total of 65 trains will be built in Derby as a result of the contract. Credit: PA

Then in a moment of corporate high drama Siemens pulled out of the race for the new London contract at Crossrail.

The result brings job security to Derby - and far beyond as Bombardier's long supply line also benefits.

Crossrail contract 'huge boost' for Bombardier

Winning the £1 billion contract to supply the Crossrail trains is a "huge boost" for the company, Bombardier's managing director has said.

Francis Paonessa said the Derby company had spent £20 million developing the Aventra train which will be built for the route.

We are absolutely delighted with the news, which is a real endorsement of the hard work the team has put in.

We have been working on the design for the past year. The train has wider gangways, is much lighter and more energy efficient.

– Bombardier Managing Director Francis Paonessa

He added that when built the train will be painted purple and black.

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