Delivery of the Elizabeth line is now in its complex final stages, with a plan to complete the railway focused on the remaining construction and systems integration, followed by intensive operational testing. Crossrail is working to complete the remaining infrastructure so it can fully test the railway and successfully transition the project as an operational railway to Transport for London.
The outgoing Crossrail Board in August forecast that the opening of the central section will be in the first half of 2022. Following the opening of the central section, it is anticipated that full services across the Elizabeth line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will be introduced by 2023.
Elizabeth line trains are already in operation between Reading - Paddington and Shenfield - Liverpool Street. The schedule for unifying the three sections of the route is largely dictated by the annual National Rail timetable changes in December and May.