Crossrail has been a long time in the planning. The idea was first suggested in the 1940s and serious plans were made as early as 1974. However, now that the project seems on track to begin operating in 2018 let's look at its likely impact on the property market. In this report we will look particularly at the impact in the outer districts which have received very little coverage compared to Central London.
The concept behind Crossrail is to provide a to-and-through London rail service, solving the problem that most mainline railway services currently terminate on the edges of central London. (In some ways it is similar in concept to the long established RER network in Paris.)
The project consists of around 118km of new track, some following existing routes and some in newly bored tunnels. It will link Berkshire via central London to Essex and Kent via two separate spurs. There will also be a spur to Heathrow Airport (Central and Terminal 4 only).
The current Crossrail project is part of a larger proposal which could have a far greater impact long term should it ever materialise. Crossrail 2 and 3 would provide Chelsea-Hackney and Euston-Waterloo links and connect Crossrail to HS2 to the Midlands and the North. Regardless of whether that happens, improvements now being made to the north-south Thameslink network will see a comprehensive mainline service from north, south, east and west of the capital connecting at Farringdon from 2018.