The next stage of the transformational Elizabeth line began on Sunday 6 November, with lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield connected with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line. The new ‘though routes’ will open up new, direct journeys across the capital and out to Heathrow Airport and the home counties, connecting jobs, homes, leisure and international travel and driving economic recovery.
Customers travelling from Reading and Heathrow are now able to travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without needing to change at Paddington mainline station, and customers travelling from Shenfield will be able to travel west all the way to Paddington without needing to change at Liverpool Street mainline station. Journeys from the east to destinations beyond Paddington, including towards Heathrow or Reading, will be possible by changing trains and waiting on the same platform at any central London Elizabeth line station for the next direct train. Given the layout of the station, changing trains at Whitechapel is likely to be easiest for customers.
The introduction of direct Elizabeth line services to central London from all destinations marks the introduction of 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 on a direct train to areas such as Farringdon and Canary Wharf in as little as 36 and 45 minutes respectively at weekends and 40 and 51 minutes respectively during the week.
Customers will also able to use the Elizabeth line seven days a week following the start of Sunday services through central London. The frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel has increased from 12 trains per hour all day to up to 22 trains per hour in peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak. This increase will add more capacity for customers travelling to central London, easing congestion across the network and making journeys quicker and easier. The full peak 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.
TfL is working with Network Rail to run the best possible service for customers next week during the planned industrial action on national rail. TfL will ensure that it can operate as many Elizabeth line services as possible, but through running services will not be possible on some days during the industrial action. Customers are advised to check before they travel, and TfL expects full direct services to resume from Thursday 10 November.
The through running of services from the east and west sections into the central section of the Elizabeth line is a complex process and means that services in the central section will, for the first time, be fully intertwined with national rail infrastructure. TfL is working closely with Network Rail, Great Western Railway and other stakeholders to ensure the national rail sections are as reliable as possible to ensure that reliability and frequency in the central section remains high.oviding a new link to one of the busiest shopping districts in Europe ahead of the festive period.
With the next stage of the Elizabeth line opening from Sunday 6 November, customers from Reading and Heathrow will soon be able to travel east to Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington and customers from Shenfield will soon be able to travel to Paddington without changing at Liverpool Street. Journeys to onward destinations, including to Heathrow Airport or stations to Reading, can be made by changing trains on the same platform at Whitechapel. We are working with Network Rail to understand the impact of planned industrial action on the Elizabeth line and customers are advised to check before they travel. The full timetable is on track to be in place by May 2023. This will include full end-to-end journeys, including from Shenfield to Heathrow, and up to 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.