TfL: Elizabeth line software bugs and ‘significant points failures’ - but ‘fifth most reliable’ railway

In its first year in service, the Elizabeth line has been one of the best-performing railways in the country, according to a TfL report.
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The Elizabeth line is one of the most reliable in the country, according to a report, despite issues with points failures and signalling “bugs”.

With the introduction of a new timetable last month, the Crossrail project reached completion, with the Elizabeth line operating as part of the Transport for London (TfL) network.

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A report for TfL’s board meeting today (June 7) says the line is the “fifth most reliable railway in the country”. This is on the basis of a moving average public performance measure (PPM) of 91.9% in April. The national average was 86.2% and the only operators performing better were Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, London Overground and c2c.

Elizabeth line performance

The report outlines key impacts on reliability:

  • Network Rail points failures - The report highlights Network Rail infrastructure at the west end of the line, “where there have been a significant number of points failures, which are disrupting and take time to recover the service”.
  • Class 345 train reliability - A software upgrade on the class 345 trains was rolled out ahead of the May 21 timetable change, “resolving some issues and bringing additional functionality”.
  • “Bugs” - There have been some “performance affecting regressions” (“bugs”) following a signalling upgrade. The report says this will impact reliability until resolved in future patch releases, due to be delivered between now and early July.

Elizabeth line’s busiest day

The busiest day for the line so far was Thursday April 20 this year, with 662,000 passenger journeys recorded. The busiest week was April 23-29 this year, with 3.94 million journeys.

The Elizabeth line has carried more than 155 million passengers since opening in May 2022.

Commissioner Andy Lord

In his report for the meeting, TfL commissioner Andy Lord wrote: “Last month, we celebrated the first anniversary of the Elizabeth line and the introduction of the final operating timetable. Customers now benefit from a train approximately every two and a half minutes between Paddington and Abbey Wood, and those travelling to Heathrow benefit from six trains per hour all day, along with an increased peak period and reduced journey times.

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“This marks the culmination of the Crossrail project, and the closeout of the organisation is now complete, with all remaining works and activities transferring to TfL.

“This is a huge moment for London and TfL: the Elizabeth line has been successfully delivered within the funding envelope forecast. This is no mean feat, and I would like to commend all the colleagues, both past and present, who have played a role in delivering the line.

“The Elizabeth line is continuing to prove popular, with more than 150 million journeys made along the route and daily records continuing to be broken. This is reflected across the network, where we continue to see ridership growth.”