London Mayor Boris Johnson (left) with the European Investment Bank's Simon Brookes after the UK£ 1

London Mayor Boris Johnson (left) with the European Investment Bank's Simon Brookes after the UK£ 1 billion (€ 1,1 billion) loan for Crossrail was agreed.

Transport for London has agreed a UK£ 1 billion (€ 1,1 billion) loan with the European Investment Bank as part of the UK£ 15,9 billion (€ 18,2 billion) finance required for the Crossrail project. Once completed, the project will link the West End, City and Docklands districts of the capital with London's outer suburbs.

Simon Brookes, vice president at the European Investment Bank (EIB) said, "Crossrail is the largest construction project in Europe and will make an important contribution to London's economy. We at the EIB are delighted to support the project with this loan."

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, said, "Our good friends at the EIB have provided us with a billion more reasons to proceed with the unstoppable force that is Crossrail.

"It is one of the largest loans ever secured for a transport project and I am especially pleased to have this backing for our drive to provide London with the facilities required to keep our capital as one of the world's leading cities."

Crossrail is due to open in 2017 and its high capacity and high frequency trains will increase London's rail capacity by +10%. Construction work started at Canary Wharf in East London on 15 May this year and demolition work is currently underway at Tottenham Court Road, near Covent Garden in Central London as the forerunner to a major redevelopment of the station.

Transport for London expects to launch tunnel boring machines in 2011 to create the new tunnels under the capital required by Crossrail.

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