Tuesday 24 May 2022

Elizabeth Line Opens Today

 At 06:30 BST on Tuesday 24 May, the first Elizabeth Line train will leave Abbey Wood, destined for Paddington.

The Elizabeth line is a 73-mile (118km) railway line running from Essex in the east to Berkshire in the west, cutting underground through central London.

There are two western branches, which terminate at Reading and Heathrow Airport, and two eastern branches, ending at Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London.

Ten new stations have been built for the central London section, which connects Paddington, Bond Street, Liverpool St and Canary Wharf.

The line is expected to increase London's train capacity by 10%.
The new railway built by Crossrail Ltd will stop at 41 accessible stations - 10 of them new - and is expected to serve around 200 million people each year.

The line was first conceived of in the 1980s, cancelled in the 1990s and approved in the 2000s. Work started in 2009 and 10,000 workers have been employed on the 13-year project.

Each train can carry up to 1,500 passengers - significantly more than existing London Underground trains.

The line travels across the overground rail network, while the central section runs through tunnels and connects with Tube and other rail services. 
Large numbers of transport enthusiasts are expected to be on the first departures.

A full service will not be immediately available.

Initially, trains will run six days a week, every five minutes from 06:30 to 23:00 with no Sunday service. 
Although a special service will operate on Sunday 5 June for the Platinum Jubilee weekend. Services will run from approximately 08:00 - 22:00

At first the line will operate in three parts - from Abbey Wood to Paddington, from Heathrow and Reading to Paddington, and Shenfield to Liverpool Street.

Bond Street station in central London will not open until later this year due to problems during construction.

In the autumn, trains from Heathrow will no longer terminate at Paddington and continue on through the central section of the line.

However, it will not be until May 2023 that passengers will be able to travel directly from one end of the line to the other.

Journey times
The new line will slash journey times for many travellers.
Abbey Wood to Paddington will be cut by almost half to 28 minutes
Liverpool Street to Woolwich will be halved to 15 minutes
Farringdon to Canary Wharf will drop from 24 minutes to 10 minutes
Liverpool St to Paddington - cut from 18 to 10 minutes

How much will fares cost?

Elizabeth line fares will be identical to those on London Underground. Services currently operating as TfL rail will remain unchanged although there will be a £7.20 premium on journeys to and from Heathrow.

Peak single journeys to Heathrow airport from central London (weekdays between 06:30-09:30 and 16:00-19:00) will cost £12.70 and be £2 cheaper at other times (peak and off-peak Tube fares currently cost £5.50 and £3.50 respectively, while the Heathrow Express costs £25).
Contactless pay-as-you-go payments are accepted across the line while daily and weekly capping will also apply.

Freedom passes allowing free travel, including to Heathrow and Reading, will be accepted after 09:00 on weekdays and at weekends.

Railcards attached to Oyster cards will also receive one-third off fares.

As with London Overground, folding bicycles are allowed at all times. Non-folding bikes are only allowed off-peak.

More information here