Crossrail is a new fast, high frequency, high capacity railway. It will travel from Reading, Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Crossrail will connect the outer suburbs to the heart of the City and West End, as well as providing a quick route between central London and Heathrow Airport.

It will become known as the Elizabeth line when it opens through central London in 2018.

Europe's biggest construction project

Construction is currently well underway beneath the streets of London and includes ten brand new stations and 42km of new rail tunnels. As Europe’s biggest construction project Crossrail currently employs 10,000 people and supports more than 350 apprentices.

Allowing London to grow

Crossrail will provide a 10 per cent increase in London’s rail capacity, relieving congestion on many existing rail and Tube lines. It will bring 1.5 million more people across London within a 45 minute commute of the key business districts of the West End, City and Docklands.

Cutting journey times

As well as boosting capacity and improving connections, Crossrail will cut journey times for the estimated 200 million people who will use it each year. For example, the journey from Heathrow to the West End will take about 30 minutes compared to about 50 minutes today.

Providing an economic legacy

Crossrail will support regeneration across the capital by bringing people closer to jobs, providing new transport links and through significant new developments over stations. The new railway will add an estimated £42bn to the UK economy.

Crossrail Business Rate Supplement

London businesses are contributing to the cost of the Crossrail project through a variety of mechanisms. The most notable of these is a Business Rate Supplement (BRS) of two pence in the pound, which is set to raise £4.1bn.

Those areas of London set to benefit most from the new rail link are paying a greater share, but thousands of London's smaller businesses are exempt from the business levy. In addition, the Mayor is expecting to raise £0.6bn from developer contributions and from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Crossrail 2

Even with the upgrade of the Tube and the construction of Crossrail, London needs more transport infrastructure to keep pace with and support the capital’s economic growth.  

That is why work is well underway to plan for Crossrail 2, a proposed new high frequency, high capacity line between south west and north east London. The proposed route would both ease rail capacity in south west London and provide new transport options, supporting jobs and housing across the capital and beyond.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that the safeguarding for the route has been agreed following a successful public consultation. We are currently working on a business case that will show how at least half of the new line’s costs could be met through private sources. 

Crossrail 2 would add a further 10 per cent to current rail-based transport capacity in London. It will open up significant new areas for housing growth, particularly in the Upper Lea Valley and Chessington South. 

Furthermore, without a new large infrastructure project, we risk losing 3,000 highly skilled engineers and tunnelling specialists to projects abroad once the first Crossrail finishes.