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aug 07

London: A huge new rail system is on the way

A $32 billion rail system for London has received funding and been approved by the British government. The routes will bisect London from west to east, becoming the largest addition to the city's public transport system in more than 50 years.

Crossrail will start 22 miles west of London near Slough, the industrial park where Ricky Gervais' The Office takes place. It will continue east just beyond the town of Brentwood, connecting with the Tube at points along the way. It will also connect Heathrow airport with central London. The project will likely make it easier for travelers to stay in outlying suburbs as an alternative to London's pricey hotels.

Construction could begin as early as 2010 and the train is expected to begin service in 2017.

The system is expected to carry 200 million passengers a year. Cars could reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour on the surface and up to 60 miles per hour in tunnels.

Trains will run every two and a half minutes at peak hours, connecting both new and existing stations. Bonus: The Crossrail cars will be roomier than those of the Tube.

Do you find it easy or hard to get around London? Feel free to sound off below.

EARLIER: A public "beach" opens by the London Eye

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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