The Elizabeth Line is now open as of 6.30am, Tuesday 24 May. The line opened with large crowds and celebrating, with people travelling for miles to be the first to experience the new trains.
The Elizabeth Line will transform travel across London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains expected to serve 200 million people per year once the whole line is open.
Currently twelve trains will operate per hour, between Paddington and Abbey Wood from Monday to Saturday 06:30 to 23:00, but not Sundays. Only Bond Street will not yet open on 24 May, and some works will continue on weekends for testing and software updates to enable more frequent services from Autumn.
Elizabeth Line will initially operate as three separate lines where changes will need to be made to access each end:
Paddington – Abbey Wood
Paddington – Reading and Heathrow
Liverpool Street – Shenfield
The central section opening 24 May, will later connect with overground lines going to Reading and Heathrow, later in the year. From the opening date, customers travelling between Reading or Heathrow into London will need to change at Paddington for services into the central section of the route, and customers from Shenfield into London will need to change at Liverpool Street.
The project was arduous with numerous delays and funding issues across the years, and several parts are still being worked on with the three streams still needing to be connected, which is expected to complete by next May 2023.
A special service will run for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 5 June