Transport for London (TfL) today launches a set of free audio guides about the 10 stations that make up the central section of the Elizabeth line. The informative three minute guides cover each station’s art, architecture and more, and are accessed by simply scanning a QR code featured on a poster within each station.
Each guide is narrated by someone who has a long-standing link with the local area. MOBO Award-winning rapper Guvna B, who was born and grew up in Custom House, voices its station guide; the Paddington station guide is voiced by author Karen Jankel, the daughter of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond; well-known British actor Scott Maslen was born in Woolwich and narrates its station guide. The Whitechapel guide, narrated by Customer Service Supervisor at the station Neil Dalton, is available in Bengali and English, and references the bilingual Bengali signage at its entrance that was installed in recognition of the local Bangladeshi community.
By listening to an audio guide while walking through a station, Londoners and visitors will discover things that they might have missed or simply taken for granted. Facts include:
- The interior of Paddington station is long enough to house the Leadenhall Building on its side, the building also known as ‘The Cheesegrater’
- Liverpool Street station has the shortest escalator on the Elizabeth line at 18.5 metres long
- Tottenham Court Road station is home to the Elizabeth line’s only curved platform in the central section
Nearly a year on from the opening of the transformational Elizabeth line. More than 100 million passenger journeys have been made since its launch in May 2022, around half of which were carried out in the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood. On Sunday 21 May, TfL will introduce the final version of the Elizabeth line timetable as planned.
The central section Elizabeth line stations combined have a capacity to accommodate more than 290,000 customers every day. This allows customers, including those with mobility requirements, to access one of the busiest cities in the UK with more ease than ever before.
Emma Strain, Customer Director atTransport for London, said: “We are delighted that some incredible Londoners have lent their voices to this series of free audio guides. The Elizabeth line has transformed travel in London and beyond, and these guides offer a great way to find out more about the central section stations’ art, design and much more. We hope that Londoners and tourists will visit all 10 stations and listen to the full set on their travels.”
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said: “The transformational Elizabeth line continues to go from strength to strength, with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the speedy and reliable trains each day. With these new, free audio guides Londoners and visitors can discover brand new insights about the 10 stations that make up the central section of the railway, narrated by remarkable Londoners with a long-standing link to the local area. I encourage everyone to give the new audio guides a go and learn all about these incredible stations, from their history, to their art and design.”
Guvna B, who narrates the Custom House audio guide, said: “I was born and bred in Custom House, it’s the place I call home. I grew up around working class English people as well as first-generation Brits from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. We were all so different but our differences united us and that’s the beauty of this place.”
Karen Jankel, who narrates the Paddington audio guide, said: “Since I was born two months before my father’s first book was published, Paddington has always been a very important part of my life, not just the bear but also the station which has great significance for our family. So I considered it a great honour to be asked to narrate the audio guide for the Paddington Elizabeth Line station.”
For more information, visit https://tfl.gov.uk/elizabeth-line-audio
Photo credit: TfL