Elizabeth line officially opens to public today after years of delays to Crossrail project

The first journey between Paddington and Abbey Wood set off at 6.30am this morning.
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After years of delays, the Crossrail’s project Elizabeth line has finally opened to the public today.

The first journey between Paddington and Abbey Wood will set off at 6.30am this morning.

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The new railway - known as the Elizabeth line - 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.

The Queen officially opened the route last week, and the first part of the line opened to customers today.

The Elizabeth line will initially run 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood, Monday to Saturday.

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Initially trains will not run on Sundays or call at Bond Street.

The new rail line will 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 11pm, although a full timetable will not be in place until May 2023.

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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.

Tube Map May 2022 - Elizabeth line through Zone 1.Tube Map May 2022 - Elizabeth line through Zone 1.
Tube Map May 2022 - Elizabeth line through Zone 1.

Transport for London (TfL) has published the latest map that illustrates the new railway and its stations, with a white line with a double purple border.

TfL says the double line has been used rather than a solid line to differentiate the Elizabeth line as a new railway as opposed to a London Underground line.

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The new map also shows the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside, which will open later this year, and the recent reopening of the Bank branch of the Northern line.

What Tube stations will the Elizabeth line stop at?

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