Work to install a new two-mile section of track between the Crossrail tunnel portal at Plumstead and Abbey Wood station is now underway.
More than a mile of new track has been laid by Network Rail so far, representing the first section of dedicated Crossrail track to be installed anywhere along the route.
Work has included the re-alignment of the existing North Kent line, which serves trains between London and Kent, and the replacement of the Church Manor Way footbridge.
Ahead of Crossrail services beginning in 2018, the tracks will now be used to support the fit-out of the new tunnels to create a fully functioning railway beneath the streets of London.
Matthew White, Crossrail Surface Director said: “Crossrail will help to transform Abbey Wood, providing a step change in public transport and encouraging investment and development in the local area.
“At peak time, 12 Crossrail trains an hour will make it significantly quicker and easier to get to range of destinations across London and the South East.”
Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “Completing this section of track on time is important because it means that Crossrail can get on with the job of fitting out the new tunnels.
“Once fully open in 2018, the new tracks will link Abbey Wood to the rest of London like never before, providing local people with a dramatically improved rail service.”
Crossrail represents the single biggest addition to the local rail network since the North Kent line was built in 1849. From 2018, a train every five minutes during the peak will allow residents to travel right through the capital without having to change trains.
The journey from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf and Bond Street will be around 20 minutes quicker and passengers travelling to Heathrow will be able to cut around 40 minutes off their journey.