Everything you need to know about the Elizabeth line

escalators at farringdon elizabeth line station

May 2023 service update

  • From Reading, customers can travel east all the way to Abbey Wood and vice versa without changing at Paddington National Rail station - services call at Paddington Elizabeth line station instead. In some cases, customers may need to change trains on the same platform at stations in the central section. Customers can also travel towards Shenfield by changing at Whitechapel, and towards Heathrow by changing at Hayes & Harlington
  • From Heathrow, customers can travel east all the way to both Abbey Wood and Shenfield. In some cases, customers may need to change trains on the same platform at stations in the central section for the fastest journey. For trains towards Reading, customers should change at Hayes & Harlington
  • From Shenfield, customers can travel west all the way to Paddington and Heathrow. For Heathrow, it may be quicker to take the first train and change at Whitechapel and/or Terminals 2 & 3. (Use our journey planning tools to find the quickest route.) For trains towards Abbey Wood or Reading, customers should change at Whitechapel

Because of its layout and capacity, we recommend changing at Whitechapel Elizabeth line station when customers travelling between west and east branches of the Elizabeth line need to change trains.

Number of trains

  • Between Paddington and Whitechapel: 20-24 trains an hour at the busiest times and 16 at quieter times
  • Between Shenfield and Heathrow Terminal 5: 2 trains an hour all day. This also means West Ealing, Ealing Broadway, Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 get 6 trains an hour all day
  • Between Gidea Park and Liverpool Street National Rail station: 2 trains an hour in peak hours. This service is in place in the peak direction only - it helps customers who work close to Liverpool Street station and would prefer to arrive at the National Rail platforms
  • Between Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood: 12 trains an hour in peak hours. This restores the previous frequency that we had to temporarily reduce to 10 trains an hour in November 2022 when we introduced through services
  • At Heathrow: 6 trains an hour all day. All 6 trains call at Terminals 2 & 3, with 2 of those continuing on to Terminal 5 and 4 continuing on to Terminal 4. There is a free inter-terminal transfer available between Terminals 2 & 3 to Terminal 4 and Terminal 5
  • Additional limited-stop services between Reading and Abbey Wood: 3 trains an hour during morning peak hours and 2 trains an hour during afternoon peak hours (peak direction only)

See the latest Elizabeth line timetable.

Service schedules

Services at Paddington/Liverpool Street

A small number of Elizabeth line services - mostly at the start and end of the day - still terminate at Paddington and Liverpool Street National Rail stations instead of running directly into the Elizabeth line tunnels. Some services run to or from Liverpool Street Network Rail station during morning and evening peak periods.

Check the destination of your train - you may need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street National Rail stations and walk to the Elizabeth line stations. Customers travelling on westbound Elizabeth line trains terminating at Liverpool Street should change at Stratford and stay on the same platform for the next train towards Paddington or Heathrow.

Trains that start and finish at Liverpool Street National Rail station do not stop at Whitechapel. Customers travelling to Whitechapel should use the Liverpool Street Elizabeth line station.

Services to and from Iver

Elizabeth line services to and from Reading do not stop at Iver during quieter times and at weekends - the station is instead served by Elizabeth line services to and from Maidenhead.

There are no direct train services from Iver to Taplow, Twyford and Reading in the off peak and at weekends. Customers to/from Iver will need to change at Langley, Slough or Burnham for services to Taplow, and Maidenhead for service to Twyford and Reading. Customers at Iver will still benefit from more frequent services at the busiest times - up to 6 trains per hour.

onboard an elizabeth line train

Fares and ticketing

  • Contactless pay as you go is accepted throughout the Elizabeth line
  • Oyster pay as you go and valid Travelcards are accepted but not west of West Drayton
  • Customers using Oyster to pay as you go who want to travel to or from stations beyond West Drayton will need to use contactless instead or buy a paper ticket
  • TfL concessions are accepted
  • Customers with a Railcard discount set on their Oyster card benefit from 1/3 off off-peak pay as you go fares
  • Customers need to touch out at Paddington and Liverpool Street National Rail stations to change for trains towards Reading, Heathrow or Shenfield, although daily and weekly price capping applies

Using London Terminals tickets on the Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth line has two 'London Terminal' stations on its route - London Paddington National Rail station and London Liverpool Street National Rail station.

Tickets for National Rail services to/from London Terminals are not valid on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Liverpool Street. Customers using these tickets must buy a separate ticket or use pay as you go to travel beyond Paddington (if travelling from the west) or Liverpool Street (if travelling from the east).

Main features

The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex digital railways in the world, and includes pioneering technology and design.

Elizabeth line stations

Forty-one new and improved stations are served by the Elizabeth line.

Elizabeth line trains

The fleet of 70 specially-designed Class 345 trains were built by Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom) in Derby.

Improved accessibility

All Elizabeth line stations are at least step free from street to platform. Stations from Paddington to Woolwich and at Heathrow are step free from street to train.

Toilet facilities

The Elizabeth line is a metro-style service and toilets are not provided on the trains. Toilets are available for free at some stations along the Elizabeth line, but these may only be inside the ticket gates.

Station staffing

All Elizabeth line stations are staffed from the first to the last train, with a 'turn up and go' service offered to anyone needing assistance.

Cycles on public transport

Find out when and where you can take non-folded bikes on the Elizabeth line on the Cycles on public transport page.

elizabeth line platform at woolwich station


21 May 2023

  • Services run to the final peak timetable
  • Up to 24 trains an hour will run at the busiest times between Paddington and Whitechapel

6 November 2022

  • The east and west sections of the line are connected to the central section tunnels

24 May 2022

  • Services running as TfL Rail are rebranded as the Elizabeth line
  • The central section opens, adding nine new stations to the TfL network (Bond Street opened on 24 October 2022)
  • Service starts with 12 trains an hour (a train every 5 minutes) running between Paddington and Abbey Wood

Benefits of the line

The Elizabeth line is dramatically improving transport links in London and the South East - journey times are being cut, capacity increased and accessibility transformed with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.

This new journey option is helping London avoid a car-led recovery from the pandemic and support regeneration across the Capital by creating jobs and business opportunities - 1.5 million more people will be within a 45-minute commute of the existing major employment centres of the West End, the City and Canary Wharf.

What's next

Wi-Fi and 4G

Free Wi-Fi access is already available at most Elizabeth line stations - we're working to make on-train Wi-Fi available within the tunnels as well. Work has started that will allow customers on both trains and platforms to have access to 4G connectivity

Software upgrades

We will continue to update software on the Elizabeth line to keep the railway reliable.

Surface station upgrades

Work continues to create step-free access to platform 1 at Goodmayes.