Elizabeth Line opening 2022: why will buildings in London be lit up ahead of first trains on new line?

The project was officially recognised by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month

The long awaited opening of the Elizabeth Line is just around the corner, and London is preparing to welcome the latest addition to its world famous transport network.

As part of the celebrations, buildings around London will be lit up as a way of marking the special occasion.

Here’s what you need to know about these buildings, when the new line will open and which stations will be serviced by the Elizabeth Line.

When will the line officially open?

ueen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque to mark the Elizabeth line's official opening at Paddington Station on May 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The first trains on the Elizabeth Line will run on Tuesday, 24 May.

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Where will the line run?

The Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood, Monday to Saturday from 6.30am to 11pm.

Work will continue in engineering hours and on Sundays to allow a series of testing and software updates in preparation for more intensive services from the autumn.

The Elizabeth line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year. All services between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington and Shenfield to Liverpool Street, currently operating as TfL Rail, will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line.

How can I plan my journey on the Elizabeth Line?

A spokesperson for CrossRail, the company behind the project, said: “Customers will be able to plan their journeys on the Elizabeth line using the TfL Go app and Journey Planner ahead of the railway opening.

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“The new railway will connect stations such as Paddington to Canary Wharf in only 17 minutes, transforming how Londoners and visitors navigate the capital.

“This journey currently takes more than 30 minutes to complete using the Tube.”

Will stations be staffed?

According to CrossRail, all Elizabeth line stations will be staffed from first to the last train, with a ‘turn up and go’ service offered to anyone needing assistance. Step-free access is in place from street to train across all Elizabeth line stations between Paddington and Woolwich.

How many stations will be served by the Elizabeth Line?

In total, 41 new and improved stations are served by the Elizabeth line.

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Amongst this number, 10 stations are brand new.

For the full list of stations, visit the Transport for London website

Why will stations be lit up?

Several of the most iconic landmarks in London are expected to be lit up this evening to mark the eve of the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

Amongst these landmarks are expected to be Tower Bridge, The London Eye and Battersea Power Station.

The landmarks will be lit up purple, the colour of the Elizabeth Line on the Transport for London Network.

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Purple has been chosen as it is hoped it will stand out and become recognisable amongst the other symbols of TfL transport such as the underground and overground.

Below are the landmarks which are due to be lit up purple.

•       Tower Bridge

•       122 Leadenhall Street, known as the Cheesegrater

•       The Gherkin

•       110 Bishopsgate, also known as the Salesforce Tower

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•       Tower 42

•       City Hall

•       One Canada Square

•       Crossrail Place roof garden, Canary Wharf

•       Sea Containers London

•       Department for Transport, Great Minster House

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•       Coutts Building and 230 Bishopsgate

•       Barbican conservatory

•       London Stadium

•       Battersea Power Station

•       British Library

•       Sky Garden

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•       ExCeL London

•       Guildhall

•       Trees along Oxford Street

•       London cable car

•       Paddington Central

•       Liverpool Street station

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•       Greenwich Town Hall

•       Palestra, TfL’s headquarters in Southwark

  • The London Eye 

There are also several bridges that will be involved in the commemorations and will have a coordinated light display carried out on them.

These include London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge.

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When was the Queen’s most recent visit to the Elizabeth Line?

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Wessex, visited the Elizabeth Line station at London Paddington to unveil a plaque officially recognising the connection between the line and the Queen.