TfL launches competition to find operator to run Crossrail services

12 March 2013  •  Author: Transport for London

London’s newest rail line reached another milestone today with the announcement that Transport for London (TfL) is seeking a train operator to run Crossrail services from May 2015. A notice has now been issued with the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) with potential operators having until the end of April to submit expressions of interest.

Crossrail services will be let as a concession by TfL, similar to the concession let by TfL for London Overground, which is now one of the most reliable railways with some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction across the UK. TfL will stipulate the level of services to be provided including hours of operation and staffing levels.

The successful bidder will run the train services and many of the stations along the Crossrail route, providing customer service and operations staff. The services on Crossrail will be phased and will initially operate on existing rail lines between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Greater Anglia. The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running in 2019.

Crossrail will be fully integrated as part of the TfL network providing a fast, frequent service linking the east and west and relieving congestion on some of the busiest Tube lines. Passengers using Crossrail will see reduced journey times and the new stations will be fully integrated with existing London Underground, DLR and National Rail stations making it easy for passengers to change between services. All Crossrail stations will have clear passenger information and security throughout, the stations will also be staffed at all times when trains are operating. Stations will benefit from improved accessibility with step-free access from street level to Crossrail platforms at at least 29 stations.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “We’re looking to appoint a world class operator to run a world class service that will see Crossrail set the benchmark for railway services in Europe.”

Crossrail will provide a vital new rail link in the capital and along with the Tube upgrades will ensure we can continue to move people efficiently around London. As our population grows faster than forecast, the case for stable and sustained investment in London’s transport network has never been stronger. When Crossrail opens it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city. It is expected that Crossrail will transport around 200 million passengers a year and will achieve internationally recognised high standards of reliability, train frequency and customer service.

Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer for London Rail, said: “Work on delivering Crossrail, a new rail service linking west to east through the heart of London, continues at a pace with tunnelling well underway and work at key stations being carried out. We are now starting the procurement process to find a truly first rate operator to run the Crossrail services and provide excellent standards of customer care on behalf of TfL. The first services will operate from May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield with the main Crossrail services connecting Canary Wharf, the City and the West End in late 2018.”

Services to Shenfield will initially operate with the current rolling stock but will be gradually replaced in 2017 by the new Crossrail trains.

It is expected that an operator will be appointed by late 2014.

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