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The London Crossrail

On Thursday afternoon the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, was in London meeting with their mayor, Boris Johnston, and talking about Toronto-London business relations, the economy, and transit.

Here is the tweet:

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On the topic of transit, the big item to see and discuss was The Crossrail. For those of you who might not be familiar with it, here are a few bullet points from their website:

Crossrail is Europe’s largest construction project – work started in May 2009 and there are currently over 10,000 people working across over 40 construction sites.

The Crossrail route will run over 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Crossrail will transform rail transport in London and the south east, increasing central London rail capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London and will link London’s key employment, leisure and business districts – Heathrow, West End, the City, Docklands – enabling further economic development.

And below is a neat diagram that I found in this City of London report. I think it does a good job summarizing some of the spatial impacts of The Crossrail.

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In the past I’ve been negative about John Tory’s SmartTrack proposal, which is clearly inspired by The London Crossrail. I had my reasons for that. But I want to be clear that I am not in any way negative on Regional Express Rail as a mobility solution.

Toronto would benefit greatly from RER and Metrolinx is working diligently to deliver it to the region. I can’t wait for that to happen so I can drive even less than I already do.

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