Today (Tuesday 24th May 2022) marks the opening of London’s newest railway; The Elizabeth line.
The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and trains.
Initially operating as three separate railways
- Shenfield to Liverpool Street (East)
- Abbey Wood to Paddington (Central)
- Paddington to Reading & Heathrow (West).
The sections East & West operating as TfL Rail will be rebranded to the Elizabeth Line, meaning customers from Shenfield into London will need to change at Liverpool Street, Until Autumn 2022 when it’s expected that services from Shenfield, Reading and Heathrow connect with the central tunnels.
The new central section will operate 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood, Monday to Saturday from 06:00 to 23:00 (East & West will still have Sunday services) giving Sundays to further testing and updates in preparation of more intensive 22 Trains per hour services commencing in Autumn.
In addition 14 bus routes to improve connections with Elizabeth Line stations across East and South-East London have been introduced to boost connectivity. Such as new Bus Route 304 running between Manor Park and Custom House.
As The Elizabeth Line is a Transport For London (TfL) service, customers can benefit from daily and weekly price capping (similar to what you get with The Tube)
With Contactless payment accepted access the entire Elizabeth Line.
Oyster is accepted but not west of West Drayton (West Drayton to Reading)
Most of all All Elizabeth line stations are step free from street to platform (Ilford expected summer 2022). With stations staffed from first to last train offering a Turn Up & Go service.
Turn up and go
The same ‘turn up and go’ service currently provided on the Tube and London Overground will be available for passengers who need assistance onto and off trains. Everyone is welcome to use turn up and go. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up at the station and ask staff for assistance.
Discover more about the Elizabeth Line
Timeline of Crossrail.
- Since World War II, proposals for an east-west railway under London were made and developed, culminating in the first full Crossrail scheme being submitted to Parliament in 1991. That scheme did not pass the committee stage but the safeguarded route was used for the central section of a revised scheme recommended by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) London East West Study in 2000.
- The Crossrail Bill was submitted in February 2005, The Crossrail Act received Royal Assent in July 2008.
- A development agreement between TfL and the Department for Transport as joint sponsors established Crossrail Limited and the formal start of construction for Crossrail was marked at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009.
- The main construction phase was launched in 2011. Tunnelling for the new rail tunnels began in May 2012 and was completed in May 2015. Eight tunnel boring machines (TBM) created the new tunnels under London with further works on stations, platform tunnels, shafts and portals continuing after TBM tunnelling finished.
- Installation of railway systems such as track, power and signalling began once the tunnels were ready in 2015.
- TfL Rail services were introduced from Liverpool Street to Shenfield in 2015.operated by MTR Elizabeth Line.
- In 2016, Her Majesty The Queen visited Bond Street station and the railway was renamed the Elizabeth line.
- In 2017 the first of the new Class 345 Trains was introduced between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
- 2018 saw the Introduction of TfL Rail services between Paddington & Heathrow (taking over Heathrow Connect) and the introduction of the new Class 345 trains between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington. Then in 2019 TfL Rail services commenced between Paddington and Reading with new Elizabeth line trains.
- Extensive commissioning of the railway commenced in spring 2021 when Trial Running began and Trial Operations commenced in November 2021.
- Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, Tuesday 17 May visited Paddington Elizabeth line station to mark the completion of the transformational new railway ahead of its opening to passengers on Tuesday 24 May.
- The Elizabeth line will opens on 24 May 2022 with full services across the entire route introduced by May 2023.
All Information on this page is provided by Transport For London .