The next stage of the transformational Elizabeth line has now been confirmed and from Sunday 6 November, the lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line − opening up new direct journeys across the capital.
This means that customers travelling from Reading and Heathrow will be able to travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington. Customers travelling from Shenfield will be able to travel west all the way to Paddington without changing at Liverpool Street. Journeys to onward destinations, including to Heathrow Airport or towards Reading, can be made by changing trains on the same platform at any of the central London stations.
The integration of Elizabeth line services will bring a huge range of extra benefits, including reduced journey times, additional capacity, greater accessibility, and better connectivity to jobs, opportunities, and leisure for communities across London and the South East. People landing at Heathrow Airport will now be able to travel straight through central London to areas such as Farringdon and Canary Wharf in as little as 36 and 45 minutes respectively on the weekend, and 40 and 51 minutes respectively during the week.
Customers will be able to use the Elizabeth line seven days a week as Sunday services through central London will also get underway for the first time from Sunday 6 November. The frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel will increase from 12 trains per hour to up to 22 trains per hour in peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak. The final timetable, which will see 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel, is on track to be in place by May 2023.
Bond Street Elizabeth line station is in line to open ahead of the new services on the railway. The step-free station will provide a new link to one of the busiest shopping directs in the UK and relieve congestion at Oxford Circus station. Two brand new ticket halls at street level, with an abundance of natural light, one at Davies Street, the other at Hanover Square – will lead passengers to the Elizabeth line platforms. In addition to station improvements, Crossrail has worked alongside Westminster Council on improvements to the urban realm surrounding the station.
Ahead of the autumn changes, from Monday 5 September, extended opening hours will run on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from around 05:30 to around 23:00.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “When we delivered on our promise to open the central section of the Elizabeth line in the first half of this year, I further promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and that the next phase of the line opening would also be achieved within that timeframe. I am excited to see the Elizabeth line unlock quicker and better journey options, greater accessibility, and further connectivity to jobs and leisure for even more people. This will be another giant leap for London’s public transport system, which supports economic growth in the capital and right across the country.”
Since the Elizabeth line opened on 24 May 2022, huge numbers of people have experienced the new railway, using it to travel across London to see friends and loved ones, commute to work, and visit the many sights and attractions the city has to offer. More than 11 million journeys have been made between Paddington and Abbey Wood, which equals more than 200,000 daily journeys.
When lifts open at Ilford station this summer, all 41 stations on the Elizabeth line will have lifts providing step-free access to platforms.
Customers can plan their journeys on the Elizabeth line using the TfL Go app and Journey Planner. The new railway, which includes 41 stations, allows customers to travel from Paddington to Canary Wharf in only 17 minutes.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The opening of the new Elizabeth line has been a landmark moment, not just for London but for the entire country, helping to contribute £42 billion to the national economy.
“It’s great news that from November, Elizabeth line trains will run directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington, seven days a week. Services running on Sundays through central London will also make thousands more journeys quicker, easier and more comfortable.
“This enhanced capacity on the Elizabeth line will play a crucial role in encouraging people to make the most of the capital and will help support businesses in the heart of our city.”
Image credit: TfL