UK: The next phase of operation on the Elizabeth Line is to begin on November 6, Transport for London has confirmed. Trains from Reading and Heathrow Airport will run east through the cross-London tunnels to Abbey Wood, and trains from Shenfield will run west to Paddington. Sunday services will be introduced on the same date, while Bond Street station is to open earlier, ‘by November’.
The Elizabeth Line has been operated in three sections since the opening of the cross-London tunnels on May 24, with trains from Heathrow and Reading terminating at Paddington’s main line platforms, cross-London trains running east from Paddington’s Elizabeth Line platforms to Abbey Wood, and trains from Shenfield terminating at Liverpool Street station’s main line platforms.
The changes from November 6 mean the frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel will increase from 12 trains/h to up to 22 trains/h in the peaks and 16 trains/h off-peak.
A ‘small number’ of services will not run into the tunnels and so some passengers may still need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street main line stations.
Some trains may also be held outside Paddington station for ‘a few minutes’ to regulate services entering the tunnels. TfL said this is factored into the timetables and will be announced to passengers.
Confirming the start date for the next phase of services on August 23, TfL said the integration of Elizabeth Line services would bring ‘a huge range of extra benefits’, including reduced journey times, additional capacity, greater accessibility and better connectivity across London and the southeast, with a journey time from Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf of 51 min during the week and 45 min at weekends.
The final timetable with a peak service of 24 trains/h on the core section is expected to be in place ‘by May 2023’.