The project that became Crossrail has origins in the 1943 County of London Plan and 1944 Greater London Plan by Patrick Abercrombie.
These led to a specialist investigation by the Railway (London Plan) Committee, appointed in 1944 and reporting in 19.
Crossrail is a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway line under development in England, running through parts of London and the home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.
The central section and a large portion of the line, between Paddington in central London and Abbey Wood in the south-east, are due to open in December 2018, when it will be named the Elizabeth line in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
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The western section, from Paddington to Heathrow Airport and Reading in Berkshire, is due to open in December 2019, completing the new east–west route across London and providing a new high-frequency commuter and suburban passenger service.The project was approved in 2007 and construction began in 2009 on the central section and connections to existing lines that will become part of the route.An almost entirely new line will branch from the main line at Whitechapel to Canary Wharf, crossing under the River Thames, with a new station at Woolwich and finally connecting with the North Kent Line at the Abbey Wood terminus.It was also suggested that the alignment of the tunnels should be safeguarded while a final decision was taken.The Central London Rail Study of 1989 proposed tunnels linking the existing rail network as the "East–West Crossrail", "City Crossrail", and "North–South Crossrail" schemes.