Crossrail Programme Recovery

Document type: Journal Publication
Author: Jim Crawford MRICS, Rob Carr BEng MSc CEng MRINA, Rob Scopes BEng CEng MICE
Publication Date: 05/04/2023

  • Abstract

    In early 2020, following the 2018 announcement of significant delay to the opening of Crossrail and the associated cost increases, the Crossrail programme was hit by yet another blow – COVID-19. The programme stopped all work in March 2020 and set about developing a recovery strategy to achieve the original objectives as closely as possible, while working out how to deal with this unknown and unforeseen threat

    In August 2020, the Crossrail Ltd (CRL) Board endorsed a Recovery Strategy and schedule that set targets for Entry into Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (ROGS) regulations and Trial Running of 26 March 2021, Entry into Passenger Service for the Central Operating Section (COS) in the first half of 2022, partial through running from the Great Eastern and Great Western networks in December 2022 and full through running of 24 trains per hour (tph) in mid-May 2023. Since then, all these objectives have been met, with the programme on target to achieve 24 tph on 21 May 2023.

    This paper describes the Crossrail response to the programme challenges experienced since the announcement of the delay to passenger service opening in 2018. There are no groundbreaking or extraordinary insights here; rather, the Crossrail programme’s response serves as a case study of how the deployment of programme management tools and recovery techniques can result in an extraordinary outcome despite the challenges.


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  • Authors

    Jim Crawford

    Jim Crawford MRICS

    Jim was Chief Programme Officer for Crossrail from January 2020 to January 2023, accountable for the delivery of the Central Operating system comprising 21km of twin bore tunnels and 10 new stations. Post opening in May 2022 Jim was accountable for leading the Crossrail Programme. Jim is currently the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme director. Prior to Crossrail Jim was the HS2 Managing Director Phase 1 for 5 years and prior to that Thamesklink Programme Director for 5 years

    Rob Carr

    Rob Carr BEng MSc CEng MRINA

    Rob is currently the Routeway Delivery Director at Crossrail. A Chartered Naval Architect, Rob spent 17 years in Shipbuilding before joining Network Rail in 2007. From delivering the Cambrian ETCS pilot (commissioned in 2011), Rob has spent time delivering signalling & electrification projects for NR, running the PMO on Thameslink, as Area South Programme Director on High Speed 2 before joining Crossrail via Nichols & Transcend in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Robs first job was to write the Crossrail Recovery Strategy, pulling together all the plans and strategies into a cohesive document to support the Delivery Control Schedule that was presented to the Board in August 2020. On CRL achieving Trial Running on time to the revised schedule, Rob went on to lead the Programme Management Office from mid 2021 to May 2022 before taking on his current role.

    Rob is accountable for delivering the final routeway upgrades before Crossrail demobilizes at the end of May 2023.

    Rob Scopes BEng CEng MICE

    Rob Scopes BEng CEng MICE - Deloitte

    Rob is a partner in Deloitte and leads the Major Programmes practice in the Public Sector. He has over 30 years experience having qualified and worked in industry as a Civil Engineer.  Rob lead the Deloitte team in the project recovery period between January 2019 and early 2021 being seconded to Crossrail for part of that time as Programme Controls Director.

    Previously Rob has worked on HS2, the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme, Tideway and a wide range of other major programmes and was a faculty member of the Cabinet Office’s Major Projects Leadership Academy for a number of years.

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