Opening date for Crossrail Elizabeth Line revealed by TfL

4 May 2022, 11:26

The brand new line will open this month
The brand new line will open this month. Picture: TfL

By Daisy Stephens

TfL has revealed the opening date for the new Elizabeth Line, also known as Crossrail, and it is just weeks away.

The new line will open on May 24, subject to final safety approvals.

Trains will run every five minutes from 06:30am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

The line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

The new line covers Paddington and Abbey Wood, as well as further out to Reading and Heathrow
The new line covers Paddington and Abbey Wood, as well as further out to Reading and Heathrow. Picture: TfL
Certain services currently operating as TfL Rail will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line
Certain services currently operating as TfL Rail will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line. Picture: TfL

The new line will improve accessibility, according to TfL, with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.

All Elizabeth line stations will be staffed from first to the last train, with a 'turn up and go' service offered to anyone needing assistance.

Step-free access is in place from street to train across all Elizabeth line stations between Paddington and Woolwich.

The stations are spacious to improve accessibility
The stations are spacious to improve accessibility. Picture: TfL
Final safety checks will take place before the opening
Final safety checks will take place before the opening. Picture: TfL

All services between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington and Shenfield to Liverpool Street, currently operating as TfL Rail, will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line.

Customers travelling between Reading or Heathrow into London will need to change at Paddington for services into the central section of the route, and customers from Shenfield into London will need to change at Liverpool Street.

Services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels in autumn when frequencies will also be increased to 22 trains per hour in the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.

The network was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2018
The network was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2018. Picture: TfL
Most of the stations will open on May 24
Most of the stations will open on May 24. Picture: TfL

The capital's new railway - running from Reading in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London - was originally planned to open in full in December 2018.

But it was hit by numerous problems including construction delays and difficulties installing complex signalling systems.

Work will continue in engineering hours and on Sundays to allow a series of testing and software updates in preparation for more intensive services from the autumn.

Read more: 'Significant moment' as London's Crossrail tests trains on track

Read more: London weather: When is the nine-day mini heatwave?

Work is also ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it will not open with the other stations on 24 May.

TfL says the station continues to make good progress and the team at Bond Street are working hard to open the station to customers later this year.

Changes will be made to 14 London bus routes to improve links to Elizabeth line stations in east and south east London.

Some work will continue after the line opens
Some work will continue after the line opens. Picture: TfL
The brand new trains will run every five minutes
The brand new trains will run every five minutes. Picture: TfL

Andy Byford, TfL'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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