The new Elizabeth line will support thousands of new jobs and homes.
Upgrades to the rail infrastructure through Brentwood and Shenfield will bring a welcome boost to the local economy when the Elizabeth Line becomes operational in 2018.
As the Crossrail project nears completion, homes and business are already seeing the benefits, with property prices soaring and local investment booming.
In tandem with the “Brentwood for Growth” initiative launched by Brentwood Council, the initiatives put Brentwood in the top three investment locations in Essex. This means the signs are good for sustained long term prosperity in the area, which spells good news for residents, local businesses and support services such as financial and IT support in Brentwood.
What is the Crossrail programme?
Crossrail is a 73-mile railway development linking Reading to the west with Shenfield to the east and passing through the City of London and Heathrow Airport.
On completion, the service will be named the Elizabeth line, and will pass through 40 stations, 10 of which will be newly constructed and the other 30 of which will have undergone significant renovation and remodelling. The BBC recently revealed artists impressions of some of the new and renovated stations.
Parts of the new line will become operational in 2018, and the eastern section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, will be connected to the central route through central London to Paddington in May 2019.
The project was approved back in 2007 and the first phase of construction in 2009 focussed on 13 miles of twin tunnels from the Docklands area through central London. These form the key connections between existing lines that will ultimately become part of Crossrail. It is one of Europe’s largest railway construction projects.
Why will Crossrail make a difference?
Both Brentwood and Shenfield already have good connections into London, with main line trains from Shenfield taking only 20 minutes to reach London Liverpool Street. So what difference will Crossrail make?
The key point is that it brings added benefits in the shape of direct links to points west, including Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and, crucially Heathrow. This strengthens Brentwood’s links with the capital even further.
The project will also introduce new rolling stock in the shape of 66 new Class 345 trains that will enter service in May 2017. Manufactured by Bombardier Transportation in Derby, the nine carriage, 200 metre-long trains, can each carry up to 1,500 people.
All the trains feature state of the art conveniences such as walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and real-time travel information.
The trains will bring increased speed, comfort and reliability to the route.
Brentwood for Growth
The Crossrail project got underway concurrently with the Brentwood for Growth initiative, launched by Brentwood council. The project brings together key players from the Borough’s blue chip businesses, who are eager to promote and strengthen the local economy.
The group have committed to work with the local business community, council and other stakeholders, to develop the Brentwood Economic Development Strategy and ensure that Brentwood is positioned competitively and is attractive to new investment.
Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood & Ongar, said “this group puts enterprise firmly at the heart of localism and enables Brentwood to exploit the tremendous economic opportunities in the South Essex”.