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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by gavin, 31 Aug 2018.
That's the bit with no transitions between the CBTC signalling and other systems...
But it's only the completely new section (Abbey Wood to Paddington low level) which was due to open in December anyway, which has no interaction with existing lines
The power transformer blowout at Pudding Mill Lane severely delayed dynamic testing of the core CBTC by many months, as a new unit had to be built and thoroughly tested before trains could start to run.
Once they did, the problems with the core CBTC were discovered.
A train running between abbey wood and paddington doesnt nessescarily mean there is a signalling system in the core in a functional/ reliable enough state to provide an passenger operational service. And for depot moves there is interaction with the gwml.
Yes, many other rail developments have been or are still late. As well as new timetables for Northern Rail and Thameslink, other examples are electrifications for Bolton, Goblin and Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen Street. Also tram-train to Rotherham is late although promised for opening late Autumn.
Being late isn't necessarily a problem, but the poor and excessively late communication around it is just plain dishonest. I was involved with Crossrail in 2017 and we all knew December 2018 was impossible back then already (this was fact not speculation) - it pretty much came up in every discussion around the office, but we weren't allowed to acknowledge or plan around the delay we all knew was going to happen. This dishonesty forced down from the top caused wasteful expenditure (so many ops staff have been employed and now have to just sit around), corners to be cut (more corners than you'd imagine!) and endless amounts of stress to deliver the undeliverable. In the end, everyone was just looking for whoever would blink first - they would be blamed for all the delays and everyone else would just be the "unfortunate victims" of the delay. Honestly, when the sub-station exploded last year, I was hoping that someone would come to their senses and be upfront about what we knew about, just to take the stupid pressure off, but instead, they kept reassuring everyone that it would open "on time".
My fear is that this happened so late that corners were cut to make the original deadline - I doubt that decisions made to just deliver on time would now be revised in line with having some additional time and money to do things properly.
This was by far the worst project I have ever been involved with and it's all down to poor senior management. The manager I dealt with had no prior experience of railways, nor of delivering a large infrastructure project and he surrounded himself with a team who only told him what he wanted to hear.
As could have been anticipated, from the moment the delay was announced work seems to have stopped elsewhere. At the point I see at Custom House things have just been laft part-done as they were the day of the announcement, and you never see site labour there any more, who were very prominent in the days immediately beforehand.
Are they hoping to just all come back 3 months before September 2019 and pick up at speed where they left off?
It's probably to be expected that works will be reprioritised in light of the change of delivery date; to some extent, works in some locations can probably be pushed back now that there's a bit of breathing room. I'm still unclear on what the actual timetable for delivery now is, beyond "something will open in the autumn".
The sycophantic 'Yes' men & women. The cancer at the heart of many a project and organisation.
Then again a boss surrounded mostly by enemies might well achieve even less in a given time, considering the hours that will probably be wasted on arguing and point scoring routines
I suspect Crossrail are not yet certain themselves. Until they get a train / trains that have a "final" (for testing) set of signalling software and start testing them they can't know if they've got a bug ridden mess to fix or if things will proceed more smoothly. I expect those stations that have work outstanding are still proceeding at as fast a pace as can be delivered in terms of final construction / fit out / commissioning. I can understand why pressure may have been taken off at Custom House given it was largely complete when they allowed the public in.
The biggest question is when the NR sections get linked in. I expect the financial pressure to get revenues in from the wider network of services will be immense but, of course, there are a load of dependencies with other parties that need resolution before expanded services can happen.