Elizabeth line to open on 24 May

TfL confirms that, subject to final safety approvals, the Elizabeth line will open on Tuesday 24 May. (Image of Elizabeth line Paddington station platform courtesy of TfL).

Transport for London (TfL) has today confirmed that, subject to final safety approvals, the Elizabeth line will open on Tuesday 24 May 2022.  

The new line is set to be crucial to London’s recovery from the pandemic, helping avoid a car-led recovery by providing new journey options, supporting regeneration across the capital, and adding an estimated £42bn to the UK economy.

The keenly anticipated line will transform travel across London and the south east by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains. 

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.

In the coming weeks, Elizabeth line signage will continue to be uncovered across the network in preparation for the start of customer service. The updated Tube and Rail map will also be released later showing the new central section stations connected with the rest of the TfL network for the first time.

The Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood from Monday to Saturday 06:30 to 23:00. 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.

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. Services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels in autumn when frequencies will also be increased to 22 trains per hour in the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.

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.”

London mayor 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 £42bn 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.”

Work is ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it will not open with the other stations on 24 May. The station continues to make good progress and the team at Bond Street are working hard to open the station to customers later this year.

John Dickie, chief executive at London First, said: “The Elizabeth line will have a truly transformational effect on the capital, easing congestion, and speeding up journeys for Londoners and visitors alike. And, with more than 60% of the spend going outside of London, this has been a real boost to the whole UK economy.”

Nick Bowes, chief executive of Centre for London said: “The Elizabeth Line’s opening in a few weeks is a major shot in the arm for the city after its toughest few years since the war. Yes, it’s late, and yes, it’s over budget, but London is getting a magnificent piece of public transport infrastructure that will blow Londoners away and change the mental geography of east-west city travel forever. The Elizabeth Line has been decades in the planning, 14 years in construction, and has brought huge supply chain benefits across the country, demonstrating how public transport investment in London doesn’t just boost the city but the whole UK.”

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