Elizabeth line launch date set for 24 May

Elizabeth line launch date set for 24 May

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

The Elizabeth line is said to transform travel across London and the South East by improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.

It will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

12 trains will operate per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood from Monday to Saturday 6.30am to 11pm, while work will continue in engineering hours and on Sundays to allow for testing and software updates for more intensive services from 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. Customers travelling between Reading or Heathrow into London will need to change at Paddington for services into the central section of the route, and customers from Shenfield into London will need to change at Liverpool Street. 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."

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 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 new railway will connect stations such as Paddington to Canary Wharf in only 17 minutes, transforming how Londoners and visitors navigate the capital, which currently takes more than 30 minutes to complete using the Tube.

Step-free access is in place from street to train across all Elizabeth line stations between Paddington and Woolwich.

Work is still ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which will be the only station not open with the others on 24 May, however the station is said to be making good progress to open to customers later this year.