At the recent Crossrail Liaison Panel Meeting one of the speakers announced that Abbey Wood would see its first Crossrail train (on test only) on 31st October. The latest information says that cannot happen, but do not despair, it could arrive as early as the following day.
Whether the new station can possibly open on the 23rd October as planned is the subject of much local debate. It does not look very likely at the moment but one should never forget that Network Rail has passed all the previous major milestones on time.
Last Thursday I met a lady from Network Rail’s main Crossrail base in Paddington. I asked if anything she told me was confidential and she said no, so here goes
She too was gearing up for the 23rd with a variety of public relations events but to my mind was not as confident of the date as one might have hoped. It was probably significant that no VIPs had been invited to the opening as of last Thursday evening.
I confess I was looking forward to reporting that the station opening had been deferred because Bexley Council had not completed the flyover work on time but I think they are going to have the perfect excuse.
With the station work running perilously close to the wire and Network Rail commandeering the station forecourt because it provides the only practical access to the site, Bexley Council’s contractors are probably not going to be given the time to do what they need to do before 23rd October.
I hate to be negative about a magnificent engineering feat but my money would be on Abbey Wood station opening a week or two late. On the other hand Peter and Raj (the Network Rail engineers in charge at Abbey Wood) have worked several miracles already so I will probably look like an idiot wide open for ridicule by Councillor Read and his mates.