Elizabeth line had more cancellations than any other UK train service, data reveals

Howard Smith, the Elizabeth line director, apologised for the recent disruptions to customers.
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The Elizabeth line had more cancellations than any other train service in the UK, according to the latest Office of Rail and Road data.

For the four-week period between July 23 and August 19, 9.1% of all Elizabeth line trains were cancelled, the regulator’s figures reveal. CrossCountry recorded the second-highest percentage of cancellations, with 7.5%, while at the other end of the scale, the Caledonian Sleeper’s 0.3% was the lowest, followed by c2c, with 0.6%.

The rate across the whole of the UK was 3.9% for the period.

The final stage of the Elizabeth line will open on May 21. Credit: TfLThe final stage of the Elizabeth line will open on May 21. Credit: TfL
The final stage of the Elizabeth line will open on May 21. Credit: TfL

Howard Smith, the Elizabeth line director, said while the service has become “one of the most popular” in the country, it has “had a difficult period which included disruption for our customers for which we apologise”.

The full Elizabeth line route, which connects Reading and Heathrow out west with Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, was up and running in May of this year, having been opened in stages since May 2022. Over that time, it has recorded more than 200 million journeys, with around 4.1m now being seen per week.

Transport for London (TfL) said two issues, a Network Rail signalling system outage for two days from July 25, and a maintenance train leaking hydraulic fluid within the central tunnel section of the line on August 16, had major impacts during the most recent period.

Mr Smith added: “There were a number of recent issues including significant problems with Network Rail’s signalling systems and infrastructure on the western section, and a defective maintenance train.

"We continue to work with all parties involved in the Elizabeth line to provide a safe and reliable railway. This includes our partners, such as Network Rail, and a programme of upgrades delivered by the train manufacturer, Alstom, will further improve reliability of our fleet of trains.”