Elizabeth line with services into central London from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield from 6 November
- Increased operating hours and Sunday services will see the Elizabeth line run seven days a week
- More frequent train services between Whitechapel and Paddington
- Bond Street station, at the heart of London's West End, to open ahead of next phase in November
The next stage of the transformational Elizabeth line has been confirmed today, with trains running directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood and from Shenfield to Paddington set to begin this November. The brand-new Bond Street Elizabeth line station, at the heart of London's West End, is also set to open by November, giving another boost to London's recovery from the pandemic.
From Sunday 6 November, the lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line - opening up new direct journeys across the capital. This means that customers travelling from Reading and Heathrow will be able to travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington. Customers travelling from Shenfield will be able to travel west all the way to Paddington without changing at Liverpool Street. Journeys to onward destinations, including to Heathrow Airport or towards Reading, can be made by changing trains on the same platform at any of the central London stations.
The integration of Elizabeth line services will bring a huge range of extra benefits, including reduced journey times, additional capacity, greater accessibility, and better connectivity to jobs, opportunities, and leisure for communities across London and the South East. People landing at Heathrow Airport will now be able to travel straight through central London to areas such as Farringdon and Canary Wharf in as little as 36 and 45 minutes respectively on the weekend and 40 and 51 minutes respectively during the week.
Customers will be able to use the Elizabeth line seven days a week as Sunday services through central London will also get underway for the first time from Sunday 6 November. The frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel will increase from 12 trains per hour to up to 22 trains per hour in peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak. The final timetable, which will see 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel, is on track to be in place by May 2023.
Bond Street Elizabeth line station is in line to open ahead of the new services on the railway. The step-free station will provide a new link to one of the busiest shopping directs in the UK and relieve congestion at Oxford Circus station. Two brand new ticket halls at street level, with an abundance of natural light, one at Davies Street, the other at Hanover Square - will lead passengers to the Elizabeth line platforms. In addition to station improvements, Crossrail has worked alongside Westminster Council on improvements to the urban realm surrounding the station.
Ahead of the autumn changes, from Monday 5 September, extended opening hours will run on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from around 05:30 to around 23:00.
Andy Byford, London's Transport Commissioner, said: "When we delivered on our promise to open the central section of the Elizabeth line in the first half of this year, I further promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and that the next phase of the line opening would also be achieved within that timeframe. I am excited to see the Elizabeth line unlock quicker and better journey options, greater accessibility, and further connectivity to jobs and leisure for even more people. This will be another giant leap for London's public transport system, which supports economic growth in the capital and right across the country."
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "The opening of the new Elizabeth line has been a landmark moment, not just for London but for the entire country, helping to contribute £42bn to the national economy.
"It's great news that from November, Elizabeth line trains will run directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington, seven days a week. Services running on Sundays through central London will also make thousands more journeys quicker, easier and more comfortable.
"This enhanced capacity on the Elizabeth line will play a crucial role in encouraging people to make the most of the capital and will help support businesses in the heart of our city."
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: "Just under three months ago, I had the pleasure of riding on the very first Elizabeth line service, which thanks to £9bn of Government investment, has already created 55,000 jobs across the UK, and will contribute £42bn to the economy and seen a whopping 11 million journeys.
"From November, even more passengers will be able to benefit from this fantastic line with the introduction of Sunday services, direct journeys to Berkshire and Essex and a brand new station at Bond Street."
Ross Baker Heathrow Chief Commercial Officer said: "This is a huge step in boosting rail connections to the UK's hub airport directly linking Canary Wharf with Heathrow by rail for the first time. This gives our passengers and colleagues more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London. I am delighted Heathrow will continue to be at the heart of a growing integrated transport network and our passengers and colleagues will reap the benefits."
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive, Heart of London Business Alliance, said: "It's fantastic news that the Elizabeth line is reaching another milestone. London's transport network helps to increase footfall and supports the businesses and cultural institutions of the West End, and this improved connectivity and accessibility comes at a time when our members need it the most. World-class transport and infrastructure sends the message loud and clear that as a city, we are open to residents, workers and visitors."
Dee Corsi, COO, New West End Company: "The highly-anticipated opening of the Bond Street Elizabeth line station this autumn will build on the successes of the station in Tottenham Court Road earlier this year. The delivery of a modern and efficient transport infrastructure will only further the West End's recovery, and allow our renowned restaurants, shops and bars to flourish.
"Overseas visitors, who are vital to the long term success of our recovery, will soon be able to travel directly from Heathrow Airport to the heart of the West End in just over 30 minutes. This influx of international customers, alongside an increase in domestic shoppers, will be a huge boost to one of the world's leading retail and leisure destinations."
Since the Elizabeth line opened on 24 May 2022, huge numbers of people have experienced the new railway, using it to travel across London to see friends and loved ones, commute to work, and visit the many sights and attractions the city has to offer. More than 11 million journeys have been made between Paddington and Abbey Wood, which equals more than 200,000 daily journeys.
When lifts open at Ilford station this summer, all 41 stations on the Elizabeth line will have lifts providing step-free access to platforms.
Customers can plan their journeys on the Elizabeth line using the TfL Go app and Journey Planner. The new railway, which includes 41 stations, allows customers to travel from Paddington to Canary Wharf in only 17 minutes.
Notes to editors
- A small number of services will not run directly through into the Elizabeth line tunnels and some customers may need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street mainline stations. Customers should check the destination of their trains.
- To regulate services coming into Paddington some trains may be held outside Paddington station for a few minutes before being routed into the tunnels. This is factored into timetables and will be announced to customers.
- Journey time savings compare current Elizabeth line services with new through running services (eastbound) and provide best case journey times
There are some future planned engineering works when sections of the Elizabeth line will be closed, customers are advised to check before they travel:
- Sat 12 November - no service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street.
- Sat 19 November - no service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street. Heathrow station will be closed.
- Sat 20 November - no service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street, or between Paddington and Heathrow. Heathrow station will be closed.
- Christmas closures to enable the final phase of the Elizabeth line will be confirmed as part of the usual TfL Festive travel press release later this year