Crossrail Maintenance Staff Will Be Paid To "Practice" For Two Years, CEO Reveals

26 April 2019, 10:13

The boss of Crossrail has told LBC 200 maintenance technicians will spend the next two years only "practising and training" because there's no work for them to do

The troubled Elizabeth Line under London now won't open until October 2020 at the earliest.

Mark Wild took over as Chief Executive after the project missed its original opening date of December last year. Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said the workers will be paid but can't do their proper job yet.

He said: "The train drivers, about 500 of them are fully utilised.

"They are either running our trains - because we run them out to Shenfield and Hayes and Harlington. They're testing these trains at the moment and they are being used by other operating companies.

"The drivers are not actually the significant issue. The issue we have is our maintenance technicians.

"There are about 200 highly-trained maintenance technicians who are practicing."

Nick Ferrari spoke to the CEO of Crossrail about the delay
Nick Ferrari spoke to the CEO of Crossrail about the delay. Picture: LBC / PA

Nick asked him: "Practicing for two years? What are they... Olympic athletes? Two years of practice?"

Mr Wild responded: "It's frustrating for them and disappointing.

"But let's face it - everybody's disappointed. Homeowners, retailers, this is a huge disappointment. My job is to get this line open as soon as possible."