By Max Clarke

Crossrail has delayed the procurement of some 60 trains for the new line in a bid to save millions of pounds of taxpayer money, the scheme’s director has said.

The lucrative bidding process will now begin in 2012, with the contract to be awarded the following year.

The giant subterranean rail tunnel will bore below the existing London Underground, carrying 200 meter trains that can accommodate 1,500 passengers each at speeds of 100kmh. Multi-billion pound transport link is scheduled to open in 2016, providing a massive boost the UK economy.

Crossrail has identified that significant operational cost savings, running into tens of millions,” said Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director, “can be realised for taxpayers by introducing Crossrail rolling stock to the rail network over a shorter period of time. Continuing with the original procurement programme would have delivered the new train fleet earlier than was necessary.”

As a result, Crossrail will introduce rolling stock to the Great Eastern Main Line from May 2017, rather than December 2016, with the fleet progressively introduced to the existing rail network well in advance of services commencing through Crossrail’s central section. Under the previous timescales much of the fleet would have been stored waiting for the Crossrail tunnels to be completed.

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