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The project was approved in 2007 and construction began in 2009 on the central section and connections to existing lines that will become part of the route.
The Central London Rail Study of 1989 proposed tunnels linking the existing rail network as the "East–West Crossrail", "City Crossrail", and "North–South Crossrail" schemes.The need for extra capacity along this corridor is such that the former head of Tf L, Sir Peter Hendy, predicted that the Crossrail lines will be "immediately full" as soon as they open.The concept of large-diameter tunnels crossing central London to connect Paddington in the west and Liverpool Street in the east was first proposed by railwayman George Dow in The Star newspaper in June 1941.One of the two eastern sections runs underground from Whitechapel to Stratford, then on the surface on the existing main line.The service will replace the "Shenfield metro", with key stops at Ilford, Romford (for interchange with London Overground services to Upminster), Gidea Park (where some peak hour trains will start or terminate), and Shenfield.Crossrail will be operated by MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd as a London Rail concession of Transport for London, in a similar manner to London Overground.
It is expected to relieve pressure on existing east-west London Underground lines such as the Central and District lines, as well as the Jubilee line extension and the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly line.
Crossrail is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway line under development in England, running through parts of London and the home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.
The central section and a large portion of the line, between Paddington in central London and Abbey Wood in the south-east, are due to open in December 2018, when it will be named the Elizabeth line in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
In the east, the line splits at Whitechapel, with one branch running over the existing Great Eastern Main Line via Stratford to Shenfield, and the other branch running through Canary Wharf and emerging from the tunnel at Custom House on a disused part of the North London Line, continuing under the River Thames to Abbey Wood.
In the west the route connects with the Great Western Main Line at Paddington and runs to Hayes and Harlington, where it splits.
One branch runs to Heathrow Central (for Terminals 2 and 3), Heathrow Terminal 4 and Heathrow Terminal 5, The main western section runs on the surface from Reading to Acton Main Line.