Subject to final safety approvals, the long-awaited Elizabeth Line, also known as Crossrail, is set to open on May 24th – just before Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Abbey Wood to Paddington section will open to passengers on 24th May, where the Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour from Monday to Saturday 06:30 to 23:00. Initially trains will not run on Sundays (for engineering works) or call at Bond Street due to ongoing work. A full timetable is likely to be in place by May 2023.
The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and the South East by improving its transport links, reducing journey times, providing additional capacity and transforming accessibility. The new line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.
Many common journey times will be slashed with Crossrail, for example, Paddington to Canary Wharf will only take 17 minutes, rather than the current 30 minutes by tube. It will also connect London Heathrow with a number of mainline stations.
Transport for London has reported the new line will be crucial to London’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and aiming to reduce car travel within the capital.
Andy Byford, Transport for London's Commissioner, said:
“I am delighted that we can now announce a date for the opening of the Elizabeth line in May. We are using these final few weeks to continue to build up reliability on the railway and get the Elizabeth line ready to welcome customers. The opening day is set to be a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, and we look forward to showcasing a simply stunning addition to our network.”
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