Crossrail’s Elizabeth line will finally open on May 24, Transport for London has announced

The Paddington to Abbey Wood section will be open six days a week from Mondays to Saturdays, although initially trains will not run on Sundays or call at Bond Street.

The long-delayed Crossrail project’s Elizabeth line is finally set to open on Tuesday May 24, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

The Paddington to Abbey Wood section will open six days a week from Mondays to Saturdays, although initially trains will not run on Sundays or call at Bond Street.

The Elizabeth Line is due to open on May 24

The project was due to open in December 2018, at a cost of £14.8bn, but this has risen to £20bn.

Crossrail said delays were due to major challenges with software, track signalling and installing equipment.

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The new Tube and rail line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

Sunday closures will also continue until the autumn to allow engineering and software upgrades, but a special Sunday service will operate on June 5 for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Once the route is open, services will run every five minutes between 6.30am and 11.00pm, although a full timetable will not be in place until May 2023.

This will mean a journey from Paddington to Canary Wharf will now take just 17 minutes, and when all routes are connected Londoners will be able to travel from Canary Wharf to Heathrow Airport in just 39 minutes.

The opening date is also subject to final safety approvals being granted.

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The Elizabeth line map. Initially the section between Paddington and Abbey Wood will run from Monday to Saturday. Credit: TfL

Andy Byford, Transport for London’s Commissioner, said: “I am delighted that we can now announce a date for the opening of the Elizabeth line in May.

“We are using these final few weeks to continue to build up reliability on the railway and get the Elizabeth line ready to welcome customers.

“The opening day is set to be a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, and we look forward to showcasing a simply stunning addition to our network.”

Elizabeth line Paddington station platform

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Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "I’m delighted that our world-class new Elizabeth line will be opening to passengers later this month, helping build a better London - one which is safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.

"This is the most significant addition to our transport network in decades, and will revolutionise travel across the capital and the south east – as well as delivering a £42 billion boost to the whole UK economy and hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs.

"Green public transport is the future and the opening of the Elizabeth line is a landmark moment for our capital and our whole country, particularly in this special Platinum Jubilee year.

“I’m so proud of this new line and can’t wait for millions of passengers to start riding on the Elizabeth Line from 24 May."

What Tube stations will the Elizabeth line stop at?

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When fully open the Elizabeth line will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The route will use 42km of new tunnels beneath central London. Crossrail will serve 41 stations including 10 new stations at:

  • Paddington
  • Bond Street
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Farringdon
  • Liverpool Street
  • Whitechapel
  • Canary Wharf
  • Custom House
  • Woolwich
  • Abbey Wood