The last piece of the Crossrail track has been laid.
Why so noteworthy? Because it means that trains are now able to travel end to end along the track. We see you sprinting to the station, Oyster card in hand, Crossrail enthusiast. But hold your horses. The stations aren't ready yet, and the service won't be launching till December 2018.
The final piece of track was completed in the eastbound tunnel of the new Whitechapel station. The final rail clips were affixed by Ellen McGuinness, Crossrail's Track Quality Control Engineer. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was also on hand for the big moment.
Watch the video beneath explaining the track installation project:
It's taken over 1,000 skilled workers to install the 63,000 sleepers, 51,419 metres of rail and over 800 sections of Long Welded Rail necessary. Over 13,500 metres cubed of concrete was poured throughout this process — that's enough to fill several Olympic size swimming pools.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:
The completion of the Elizabeth line track is a huge milestone on the way to finishing a project that will transform transport across London and the South East. With brand new trains and step-free stations, the Elizabeth line will provide a truly world-class service for passengers, and this important landmark is testament to the hard work and expertise of all the men and women who have been working on the project.
Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said:
We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century, creating jobs and business opportunities right around the country. The Elizabeth line will transform rail transport in London with better and faster journeys for passengers and the official completion of the track is a hugely significant milestone towards delivering this scheme on time and within available funding.
Watch a 360 degree journey through the new Whitechapel station:
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