Finally, it looks like Crossrail’s going ahead – although it could be yet another Brown election ploy. London needs this east-to-west link desperately; the overground trains that scoot commuters into and across London at the moment date back centuries, and there’s only so much capacity you can cram into surface construction, surrounded by streets and buildings.
The £16bn project will span over 100km, a third of them underground, but it won’t be a Tube line. It’ll be proper big-ass trains, like Eurostar or France’s RER, carrying thousands straight across without the huge logjams at the major rail stations as people switch from Track to Tube. Brilliant.
It’s perhaps the first piece of 21st-century-capable infrastructure since the M25 or Channel Tunnel that’s about really big thinking, on the same dream-not-little-dreams scale as the Victorians. if this thing works, London will be even further ahead of other world cities, the undisputed capital of the world. I miss you, my city, but I have other reasons for joy.