Crossrail’s central section will open with or without John McAslan & Partners’ Bond Street station, the £18.6bn scheme’s chief executive has said.
Mark Wild told Building Design’s sister title, Building, that the station’s inclusion in the opening depended on how quickly the rest of the key central London route could get up and running.
The opening of the Elizabeth line has been pencilled in for the first half of next year, which Wild said it was on course to meet.
Other stations, including Canary Wharf – designed by Foster & Partners – and Whitechapel – by BDP – are still to be completed but Bond Street, whichMcAslan designed with WSP, will be the last to finish.
Wild said: “I’m confident the rest of the stations, including Canary Wharf and Whitechapel, they’ll get there […] but we couldn’t delay the whole railway just because of Bond Street.
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“So, it depends on when the railway opens. If the railway opens around the time that Bond Street is available, then it will be in it.”
He added Bond Street’s woes dated back to the tunnelling and said it had been plagued by design coordination problems in the early years of the project.
Original station contractor, Costain-Skanska, (CSJV), was replaced by Engie last summer but Wild said the joint venture was not solely to blame for the delays.
He said: “We’ve turned a big corner on Bond Street really in recent years. Even with CSJV in charge of the project, we’d really turned the corner.
“They’ve been carrying this lateness, one year to 18 months, [since] the very beginning of the job, so I feel a bit sorry for them for that.”
Long-awaited trial running began on the line last month, and the railway is currently running a timetable of four trains an hour through the central London tunnels. The next key will be stepping up to eight trains an hour in the next couple of weeks and then 12 trains. “It’s going pretty well, actually,” Wild said.