Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Crossrail to Reading safeguarded

The government have made an announcement regarding whether Crossrail should terminate at Reading rather than Maidenhead.

I have now decided to safeguard additional land between Maidenhead and Reading. While I am clear that Crossrail services will terminate at Maidenhead and have no plans to extend them to Reading, this measure gives the flexibility to be able to extend Crossrail in the future, should there be a business case.
While there's a prevailing opinion that Reading is the more "logical" place for services to terminate, the Crossrail people argue that it would be too expensive since "the first station where Crossrail would be likely to pick up considerable passenger traffic would be at Maidenhead". However, the biggest expense is the rebuilding of Reading station, which is happening anyway, making some regard an extension as the inevitable next step. There'll be various local, semi-fast and fast services in addition to Crossrail, so most passengers will be well-served whatever happens.

At the other end of the line, the statement mentions an extension from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet in Kent is already safeguarded. The safeguarding actually continues all the way to Hoo Junction on the other side of Gravesend, where a depot would be located. They say they're considering updating the safeguarding in some way, though there's no mention of how or why.

[via uk.railway]