Progress report says no branches or stations will be cut but value management exercise continues

The organisation building the £15.9bn Crossrail scheme has confirmed it will be built out without cutting any of the route’s branches or stations, in a progress update yesterday.

Crossrail said it was continuing with an extensive value management exercise to reduce the cost of the east-west London link, but that this “does not involve reducing the scope of planned Crossrail services between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, or removing stations from the Crossrail scheme.”

The assurance is the first time the organisation has addressed specific concerns over possible reductions in scope of the project, and suggests the line has received backing from Treasury.

Building reported in the summer that the Department for Transport was looking at a number of options, including scrapping the line’s east or west spurs, and taking out central stations, and reducing the length of platforms, to help reduce costs.

The statement did not address the issue of possible reductions in the length of trains.

It said savings had, however already been realised by redesigning Whitechapel station, resizing other stations, and re-using existing sections of track.

The body said over 2,500 people are now employed on the Crossrail project - 300 directly by Crossrail Limited. Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the height of construction between 2013 and 2015. Nearly £2bn has been invested in the Crossrail project to-date.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “It is critical that every pound invested in this vital scheme achieves maximum value for money. Sensible efficiency savings will be made at every opportunity.

“Crossrail is bearing down on its whole cost base, while ensuring delivery of a new railway that is fit for purpose and delivers the capacity improvements required. We are looking at every aspect of Crossrail to identify where efficiencies can be made and understanding what cost saving lessons can be learned from other global infrastructure projects.”