More frequent trains and new journey options mark one year of Elizabeth line operation

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The full peak Elizabeth line timetable will be introduced on Sunday 21 May 2023. 

Peak time frequencies will increase from 22 to up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel, with 16 trains per hour running off-peak. There will be 12 trains per hour running between Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood in the peak, restoring the frequency that was in place between May and November 2022 to a train around every five minutes. The peak will also now last for longer, increasing capacity even further. 

Services will also run all day between Shenfield and Heathrow Airport (Terminal 5) for the first time, with two trains per hour providing direct connectivity between Essex, east London and west London. 

There is also the addition of more services at peak time between Liverpool Street National Rail station (platforms 15 -17) and Gidea Park, providing a faster route for those exiting to Bishopsgate. 

In the west, there will be an increase in peak services from Reading, with some trains that were previously operated by Great Western Railway transferring to become Elizabeth line services with reduced stops. 

There will also be the removal of any significant pauses for trains between Paddington and Acton Main Line, as has been the case with some trains waiting between the stations since November 2022 while they waited to join Network Rail tracks or enter Elizabeth line tunnels. These pauses were built into the timetable, but customers on these services should see reduced journey times between Reading and Paddington and improved journey times for customers travelling from the west into central London. 

Customers will receive more frequent services to and from Heathrow Airport as part of this timetable. The airport overall will receive six Elizabeth trains per hour all day. All Heathrow trains stop at Terminal 2&3, with four per hour continuing to Terminal 4, and two per hour continuing to Terminal 5. 

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Heathrow Airport has also improved signage at the airport, which should make it clearer for customers, particularly those visiting London or using the Elizabeth line for the first time. 

Wednesday 24 May also marks one year of Transport for London (TfL) operating the Elizabeth line, and more than 140 million customer journeys have taken place so far, with around 600,000 journeys now being made each weekday. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Delivering the Elizabeth line has been transformational for our city, with hundreds of thousands of Londoners and visitors now enjoying the fast and reliable trains each day. The introduction of the final timetable next month marks the last milestone of the Crossrail project and will enable the Elizabeth line to provide even more frequent, speedier journeys and better connect the capital.” 

Andy Lord, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “The Elizabeth line has transformed the lives of Londoners and the experience for visitors to the city in just under a year of TfL operating the service. With this new timetable, those travelling through central London will have a train arriving around every two and a half minutes, those using Heathrow Airport will have more regular services, and time will be shaved off many journeys from Reading, Heathrow and into central London. Those on the east will also benefit from twice hourly services to the airport, linking Essex and west London on the line for the first time.” 

The introduction of this timetable will mark the final milestone of the Crossrail project and provide higher frequencies, greater connectivity and faster journey times for those using the Elizabeth line. Step-free access is available at all 41 stations on the route. 

Photo credit: TfL

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