Hong Kong Company Wins Crossrail Contract

The £1.4 billion contract to run Crossrail through London has gone to Hong Kong-based company.

MTR Corporation beat the likes of National Express and Arriva to win the award, which will be for eight years with an option to extend to 10 years.

Transport for London (TfL) said MTR was expected to employ around 1,100 staff with up to 850 new roles, creating many hundreds of jobs for local people.

This will include some 400 drivers and more than 50 apprenticeships for people from communities along the route.

The £14.5 billion Crossrail project will see trains running from as far west of the capital as Reading in Berkshire and as far east as Shenfield in Essex, with links to south London as well.

It is due to be fully open by the end of 2019.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This is great news for passengers across the capital and marks a significant milestone in the project.

"Crossrail will provide a better and faster service for millions of commuters and will help create up to 30,000 additional jobs in central London by 2026."

He went on: "Crossrail is a part of our long-term economic plan and one of the many rail infrastructure projects benefitting from record levels of Government investment.

"Together with Thameslink, investment in rail in the North and a major electrification programme, we are creating jobs, boosting business and generating lasting economic growth across the UK."

MTR will start running the services from the end of  May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. They will be using the existing trains that currently operate on the route.

New trains will begin entering service with in 2017. The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running from late 2019.

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