The Elizabeth line is here – here’s what it means for you
The central section of the Elizabeth line opens on Tuesday 24 May and will stretch more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow through to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
It will serve 41 accessible stations, including 10 new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich, and Abbey Wood.
When the line opens GWR leisure, commuter and business customers travelling to London Paddington can expect to make significant time savings on onward journeys to key points in the city:
London Paddington – Tottenham Court Road – 4 minutes (currently 14 minutes)
London Paddington – Farringdon – 7 minutes (currently 19 minutes)
London Paddington – Liverpool Street – 10 minutes (currently 25 minutes)
From 24 May 2022 (subject to final safety approvals)
Services will start with 12 trains an hour (a train every 5 minutes) between Paddington and Abbey Wood from 06:30 to 23:00, Monday to Saturday.
(Work will continue outside those hours and on Sundays to allow for any testing and software updates needed before higher frequency services start in the autumn).
The line will initially operate as three separate railways, in the east, west and through central London.
Elizabeth line customers travelling:
between Shenfield and the central section of the line will need to change trains at Liverpool Street, walking to/from the new Elizabeth line Liverpool Street station
between Reading or Heathrow and the central section will need to change trains at Paddington, walking to/from the new Paddington Elizabeth line station
between Paddington and Abbey Wood only – no changes needed
The lines from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels. This means customers travelling:
from Reading and Heathrow can travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington
from Shenfield can travel west all the way to Paddington without changing at Liverpool Street
By May 2023
The separate sections of Elizabeth line become fully connected and services run to the final timetable.
24 trains an hour will run at the busiest times between Paddington and Whitechapel.
Fares and ticketing
While customers will initially need to touch out at Paddington and Liverpool Street to change for trains towards Reading, Heathrow or Shenfield; daily and weekly price capping will apply just as it does now.
Contactless pay as you go will be accepted throughout the Elizabeth line, as on TfL Rail.
Oyster pay as you go and valid Travelcards will also be accepted but, as on TfL Rail, not west of West Drayton.