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BTP marks Queen's milestone with Crossrail test

Transport officers marked the Queen’s anniversary by holding an emergency exercise.

A multi-agency exercise has helped move London's biggest construction project closer to completion and meet a historic milestone. 

British Transport Police officers and volunteers from across the country took part in a simulated incident to help test systems and staff who will be operating the capital’s new Elizabeth line.

The five-hour event took place as celebrations were held across the country to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne.

The exercise, organised by BTP, was held on Sunday at Paddington station which is one of the central stations that are part of the Crossrail project which runs from Essex through to Berkshire.

Testing is part of the final phase in the development which has so far cost £19bn. The line has now been handed over to Transport for London and the Paddington to Abbey Wood stretch will be the first section to open in the first half of this year as part of events to mark the Queen's platinum jubilee.

It’s vital as when the new line opens, the 41 stations will be accessed by 200 million passengers each year.

Crossrail said: “More than 150 scenarios are being carried out to ensure the readiness of the railway for passenger service. These include exercises to make sure that all systems and procedures work effectively and staff can respond to any incidents, including customers being unwell or signal failures.”

The joint exercise involved BTP plus Transport for London station staff, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance.

As the exercise simulated a major incident involving hazardous material, the teams involved deployed hazmat suits and oxygen canisters with emergency tents erected on site. 

And helping out during the five hour event were BTP Specials from Sussex and Greater Manchester.

Their work will now help finalise training processes and incident manuals for responders including Gold Command.

A BTP spokesperson said: “The incident was a success. Our thanks also to the 29 BTP Specials who gave up an afternoon to assist with this.”

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