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London's Crossrail Offers Ticket to Economic Growth

The Crossrail train service being built in London will not only drastically decrease commuter travel times, it is also expected to catalyze the transformation of areas along its route, reports Graham Norwood.
August 14, 2012, 5am PDT | Emily Williams
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London's Crossrail project has been in the works for several years now, but officials believe it will be worth the wait. The new rail line, slated to begin service in 2018, will "increase London's rail passenger capacity by 10 per cent, bringing another 1.5m people within a 45-minute commuting radius of central London and generating £42bn for the UK economy in its first 10 years of operation."

Norwood claims that the new rail service will not only bring additional revenue into already established neighborhoods like King's Cross and Soho, but will open wide the doors for new economic development in under-developed areas both within and outside the city proper. For example, in Farringdon, just north of the City, "There are many unused commercial buildings and sites that could be redeveloped. Before Crossrail there was little interest in exploiting this potential," says Andy Martin, senior partner at estate agent Strutt & Parker.

A Crossrail 2 is also in the works, which would connect Chelsea and Hackney, further expanding the definition of "prime central London."

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Published on Friday, August 10, 2012 in Financial Times
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