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12 March 2013 | News, Transport | By: Dean Nicholas

Competition For Crossrail Contract Launched

Competition For Crossrail Contract Launched

Railway operators have been invited to bid for the £2bn contract to operate London's Crossrail service.

Transport for London also revealed that the line will be let as a concession to the successful bidder, much like the Overground is operating — a good omen as the latter service is one of the most punctual in the country. TfL will control every aspect of the line's public image, meaning it will be fully integrated into London's transport network.

However, Crossrail's opening date appears to have slipped: it'll be December 2018 for the core section between Abbey Wood and the West End via Docklands, with the Shenfield branch and full service to Maidenhead opening in late 2019. We will, however, get to play with our new train set in May 2018, when Crossrail takes over the Heathrow Express line.

Crossrail's distinctive roundel was also revealed today, replacing the previous, dull logo. The chosen palette is a blue bar against a purple circle, while the reassuringly familiar Johnston font ensures that it'll look the part. Over at London Reconnections there's a detailed look at the new roundel, although our first thought was that purple is (for obscure reasons) often seen as a colour representing sexual frustration. It also features prominently on the leather pride flag (NSFW). Or are we reading far too much into this?

See also

Crossrail, As It May Appear On The Tube Map

Pictures Of The Crossrail Tunnels

A Modest Proposal To Improve Crossrail


Dean Nicholas

Article by Dean Nicholas | 2,338 articles | View Profile | Twitter


Well. Purple the doesn't do much really does it? It looks like the standard tube logo with faded red. The blue and purple are so close to each other in density they look like one colour and this makes it just as dull, if not as ugly, as the old, truly awful, logo. Wouldn't be surprised if the purple fades in ultraviolet light as well.

All round a great, resounding success the London taxpayer should be proud of.


I like. Can I call it the Ribenaberry Line?

John Bull

Just to clarify, the old logo isn't quite dead yet. There's just now an official separation between Crossrail "the company what's building it" and TfL/Crossrail "the people who are running it" in brand terms.


It's a shame Crossrail doesn't have a unique name like many of the other lines in London, and is purely functional like the Central and Circle. I think the unique way the various lines are named is part of the charm. It would be cool if they ran some sort of competition to name it

Andy Brice

All the most efficient services (Overground, Tramlink, Docklands Light Railway) are run on this gross-cost franchise model.

I think it's fairly obvious National Rail contracts should be managed in the same way.


They've nicked Dial-A-Ride Purple!