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?