Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Building a Better Railway – Design Work Starts On New London East-West Rail Links [May 2001]

The press release issued by the Strategic Rail Authority on 3 May 2001.

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) and Transport for London (TfL) are to work together to develop plans for two major new rail links across London. £150million is being allocated for project definition and design development work, which is due to start immediately, for the East-West (‘CrossRail’) project. At the same time, further feasibility work on the North East-South West (Wimbledon – Hackney) project will begin.

Both routes would be designed to carry mainline trains in tunnel through Central London. The East-West route would create direct journey possibilities between Essex and Thames Valley. Development of services to Heathrow will form part of the study. The tunnel section of the East-West route would connect Liverpool Street and Paddington, and could follow the alignment of the CrossRail scheme. The other project is a South West to North East London rail link, which could follow the alignment of the proposed Chelsea-Hackney tube line. As with the East-West scheme, this would be expected to form part of the National Rail network, providing direct services to destinations beyond London.

Both routes would bring big benefits for passengers, bringing passengers directly to Central London, as well as providing new cross London journeys. The two lines would also have interchange stations with the north-south Thameslink route.

SRA Chairman Sir Alastair Morton said,

“With virtually all of London’s rail termini now at full capacity in the peak, a more radical approach is required to meet the transport needs of the 21st Century. Through-rail services across the capital address these pressures on capacity, and provide a wide range of new direct journey opportunities. Today’s announcement is an important step towards delivering the SRA’s long term vision for services into London, included in the SRA’s Strategic Agenda published in March. It signals the determination of the SRA and Transport for London to work together to create the rail network London needs”.