Everything you need to know about the Elizabeth line

High-frequency services connecting to more places - for many the new railway means shorter journey times between popular destinations in the Capital. The travel experience is more comfortable on the spacious trains and in the new and newly refurbished stations.

escalators at farringdon elizabeth line station

Opening stage

The Elizabeth line is initially operating as three separate railways - services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels from autumn 2022.

When the final stage is complete, customers will be able to travel seamlessly from Abbey Wood to Heathrow and Reading, and from Shenfield to Heathrow.

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 will open to Elizabeth line customers later in 2022)
  • Service starts with 12 trains an hour (a train every 5 minutes) running between Paddington and Abbey Wood from 06:30-23:00, Monday to Saturday.

Work will continue outside those hours and on selected full weekends to allow for testing and software updates. This is helping us bring forward the next phase of the Elizabeth line to autumn 2022.

Because the line operates in London as three separate railways - in the east, west and through central London - Elizabeth line customers travelling between:

  • Shenfield and the central section of the route need to change trains at Liverpool Street, walking to/from the new Elizabeth line Liverpool Street station
  • Reading or Heathrow and the central section need to change trains at Paddington, walking to/from the new Paddington Elizabeth line station
  • Paddington and Abbey Wood only - no changes needed

Customers who need level access should speak to a member of staff at the start of their journey​​​​.​

From autumn 2022

The lines from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels. This means customers travelling:

  • From Reading and Heathrow can travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without changing at Paddington
  • From Shenfield can travel west all the way to Paddington without changing at Liverpool Street

The number of trains running each hour through the central tunnels will rise from 12 to 22.

By May 2023

  • The separate sections of Elizabeth line are fully connected and services run to the final timetable
  • 24 trains an hour will run at the busiest times between Paddington and Whitechapel
elizabeth line train interior

Opening hours

The Elizabeth line has these opening hours in the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood until autumn 2022:

  • Services run 06:30-23:00, Monday to Saturday
  • No Sunday services

Services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and Paddington to Heathrow and Reading operate on Sundays, aside from any planned weekend closures.

Rail and Tube strikes in August 2022 will affect Elizabeth line services, including opening hours. Find out more on the Strikes page.

Planned closures for testing and software updates on the Elizabeth line between Abbey Wood and Paddington will take place on the weekend of 29-30 October 2022.

Fares and ticketing

  • Customers need to touch out at Paddington and Liverpool Street to change for trains towards Reading, Heathrow or Shenfield, although daily and weekly price capping applies
  • 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

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 step free from street to platform, apart from Ilford. Network Rail expects to make that station step free in summer 2022.

Toilet facilities

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

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 will help 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

Bond Street station

Work is ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it won't open with the other stations on 24 May 2022. The station continues to make good progress and the team at Bond Street are working hard to open it to customers later this year.

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

More intensive services

A series of testing and software updates will continue in preparation for higher frequency services from autumn 2022.

Surface station upgrades

Work is continuing on upgrades to Ilford and Romford stations (including step-free access via lifts). Network Rail expects works to be complete by summer 2022. Also, work is continuing to provide step-free access to platform 1 at Goodmayes.