Elizabeth Line - A
Elizabeth Line - A
The Elizabeth line is a high-frequency hybrid urban–suburban rail service in London and its suburbs. It runs services on dedicated infrastructure in central London from the Great Western Main Line west of Paddington station to Abbey Wood and via Whitechapel to the Great Eastern Main Line near Stratford, along the Great Western Main Line to Reading and Heathrow Airport in the west and along the Great Eastern Main Line to Shenfield in the east.
The service is named after Queen Elizabeth II, who officially opened the line on 17 May 2022 during her Platinum Jubilee year; passenger services started on 24 May 2022.
Under the project name of Crossrail, the system was approved in 2007, and construction began in 2009. Originally planned to open in 2018, the project was repeatedly delayed, including for several months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2015, existing commuter services on a section of one of the eastern branches, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, were transferred to TfL Rail; this precursor service also took control of Heathrow Connect in May 2018, and some local services on the Paddington to Reading line in December 2019.
These services were augmented by a new central section in May 2022, and rebranded as the Elizabeth line. The outer services were connected to the central section in November 2022. Since May 2023, the central section has up to 24 nine-carriage Class 345 trains per hour in each direction. Elizabeth line services are operated by MTR Elizabeth line.
Elizabeth Line History
In 2001, Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), a 50/50 joint-venture between Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT), was formed to develop and promote the Crossrail scheme, and also a Wimbledon–Hackney scheme, Crossrail 2. In 2003 and 2004, over 50 days of exhibitions were held to explain the proposals at over 30 different locations.
Elizabeth Line Construction
Elizabeth Line Route
The Elizabeth line runs on an east–west axis across the London region, with branches terminating at Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, and at Heathrow Terminal 4, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Reading in the west. There are 41 stations. In the central section, there are interchanges with London Underground, National Rail and Docklands Light Railway lines.
Elizabeth Line Design and infrastructure
Elizabeth Line Name and Identity
Crossrail is the name of the construction project and of the limited company, wholly owned by TfL, that was formed to carry out construction works.
The Elizabeth line is the name of the new service that is on signage throughout the stations. It is named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. The Elizabeth line roundel is coloured purple, with a superimposed blue bearing white text in the same style as for Underground lines. However, unlike Underground lines, the Elizabeth line roundel includes the word "line".
TfL Rail was an intermediate brand name which was introduced in May 2015 and discontinued in May 2022. It was used by TfL on services between Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 5 and Reading, as well as trains between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
Ten new stations have been built in the central and south east sections of the line, and 31 existing stations were upgraded and refurbished. Nine of the ten new-build stations opened for revenue service on 24 May 2022; the remaining station – Bond Street – required additional finishing works before commissioning could proceed.
Trains passed through its platforms non-stop until it opened five months later on 24 October. All stations are equipped with CCTV and because of the length of trains, central stations have train indicators above the platform-edge doors.
All 41 stations are step-free, with 13 of these (the central and Heathrow stations) having level access between trains and platforms.
Although the trains are 200 metres (660 feet) long, platforms at the new stations in the central core are built to enable 240-metre-long (790 ft) trains in case of possible future need.
In the eastern section, Maryland and Manor Park have not had platform extensions, so trains use selective door opening instead. At Maryland this is because of the prohibitive cost of extensions and the poor business case, and at Manor Park it is due to the presence of a freight loop that would otherwise be cut off.
Elizabeth Line Service Pattern
Elizabeth Line Previous Service
Elizabeth Line Current Service
As of 21 May 2023, the off-peak weekday service is as follows:
Elizabeth line off-peak weekday service
Calling At: Twyford, Maidenhead, Taplow, Burnham, Slough, Langley, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington, Southall, Ealing Broadway, Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich
Burnham, Slough, Langley, Iver, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington, Southall, Ealing Broadway, Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3, Hayes & HarlingtonSouthall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway, Acton Main Line, Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3, Hayes & Harlington, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway, Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood
Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood
Some early morning and late night services run into London Paddington main line terminus instead of going across central London. Likewise, some early, peak-direction, and late trains run between London Liverpool Street main line terminus and Gidea Park, bypassing Whitechapel.
Elizabeth Line Future Service
When Old Oak Common opens, all trains will serve Old Oak Common, with those not serving the Reading or Heathrow branches reversing there.
Elizabeth Line Journey Times
Elizabeth Line Minutes between Stations
Route Pre-Elizabeth line time Elizabeth line time
Paddington to Tottenham Court Road 20 4
Paddington to Canary Wharf 34 17
Bond Street to Paddington 15 3
Bond Street to Whitechapel 24 10
Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street 21 6
Canary Wharf to Heathrow 55 39
Whitechapel to Canary Wharf 13 3
Abbey Wood to Heathrow 93 52
Elizabeth Line Ticketing