AFTER a few months of operation on three separate routes with passengers having to change trains, London’s Elizabeth line has now opened to services through the UK capital.
When the Elizabeth line inaugurated on May 24the three routes of the service were Paddington – Abbey Wood, Heathrow Airport/Reading – Paddington and Liverpool Street – Shenfield.
On November 6, trains began to pass through the central section of the tunnel, from Reading or Heathrow Airport to Abbey Wood, and from Paddington to Shenfield.
The start of direct rail services required a great deal of night work to change platform signage featuring the old route scheme with three separate routes, as well as train destination displays. To inform customers of route changes, staff distributed explanatory leaflets at many central London stations.
When passengers need to change between routes to Shenfield and Abbey Wood, train announcements recommend Whitechapel station as the best interchange, due to its platform layout and additional side walkways between the platforms.
Elizabeth Line services now operate seven days a week, having previously been withdrawn on Sundays to allow testing to take place.
The frequency of service on the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel has increased from 12 trains per hour all day to 22 trains per hour at peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak periods. From May 2023, the peak frequency will further increase to 24 trains per hour.
“This development is a big moment for connectivity in the capital, revolutionizing the way we travel across London, allowing people to travel from Stratford in East London to Paddington in West London in just 19 minutes, and from Ealing Broadway to Canary Wharf in just over 30 minutes,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Transport for London (TfL) says more than 60 million journeys have been made on the Elizabeth line since May 24, and around half of those journeys have been on the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood. On October 27, 297,000 journeys were made on the central section, the highest daily figure to date.
“Thanks to our investment of £9 billion, it’s great to have contributed to a line which, in just five months, has proven to be a vital part of London’s transport network, carrying over 60 million journeys and creating more than 55,000 jobs,” said the Secretary of State for Transport. , Mr. Mark Harper.