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Crossrail – to Watford?

Earlier this week, the Government announced that it will conduct a feasibility study into extending Crossrail services into Hertfordshire. The plans would see the construction of a new rail link between Old Oak Common and the West Coast Main Line, allowing Crossrail to serve key commuter towns such as Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Harrow and Watford, cutting journey times into central London by around 15 minutes.

Crucially, the new plans would also help enable a more ambitious redevelopment of Euston station to accommodate HS2. By shifting some of the existing suburban services onto Crossrail space would be freed up at Euston, allowing reconstruction of the current station while enabling key services to continue to run.

In response, David Leam, Infrastructure Director at London First, told media including ITV London and the Evening Standard that:

“Any investment to improve crowded commuter rail links into London is to be welcomed. It is also good news that Government is now looking at how major schemes like Crossrail and HS2 might interact with each other.

“We next need to see detailed proposals on the costs of additional track and trains and on the impacts on existing rail and Crossrail service patterns, so that commuters can gauge whether they will benefit or lose out under these plans.

“It is also imperative that we continue to protect Crossrail from the ‘scope creep’ that has bedevilled major infrastructure projects in the past. Delivering Crossrail on time and on budget must continue to be the top priority.”

The story also provided a good hook for us to talk about the importance of planning ahead for Crossrail 2, including this comment piece from Jo Valentine in City AM.

Contact: David Leam, dleam@londonfirst.co.uk

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