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

Services running through

The three branches of the Elizabeth line - east, west and central - are now connected. Customers can travel into and through central London without changing at Paddington and Liverpool Street National Rail stations.

The lines from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield now connect with the central tunnels:

  • From Reading and Heathrow, 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
  • From Shenfield, customers can travel west all the way to Paddington and vice versa without changing at Liverpool Street National Rail station - services call at Liverpool Street Elizabeth line station instead. In some cases, customers may need to change trains on the same platform at stations in the central section for the fastest journey
  • From Shenfield, customers going towards Heathrow and Reading no longer need to walk to Paddington National Rail station to change trains - instead they can change trains on the same platform at stations in the central section

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

Number of trains

  • Between Paddington and Whitechapel, 22 trains now run each hour at the busiest times and 16 at quieter times
  • Two extra Elizabeth line services from Maidenhead now run during quieter times, so customers at Maidenhead, Burnham, Slough and Langley benefit from four trains an hour at those times
  • Customers at West Drayton now benefit from a temporary increase from four to six trains an hour during quieter times - Great Western Railway (GWR) services from Maidenhead will continue to run alongside Elizabeth line services until 11 December 2022. After this, GWR will withdraw its two trains an hour service and West Drayton services will go back to four trains an hour, as on the previous timetable.

Opening hours

The Elizabeth line now operates Sunday and later evening services through central London. This means customers can now use the central section of the railway seven days a week.

The last weekday services that will run through are:

  • 23:41 - westbound from Shenfield to Paddington
  • 22:57 - eastbound from Reading to Abbey Wood
  • 23:01 - eastbound from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Abbey Wood
  • 22:06 - westbound from Abbey Wood to Reading
  • 23:06 - westbound from Abbey Wood to Maidenhead

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.

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.

Short scheduled service pauses at Paddington

Some eastbound and westbound trains will pause for a short time outside Paddington while they wait to join Network Rail's system or enter Elizabeth line tunnels.

These pauses are built into the timetable - customers on these services will have a faster overall journey compared to changing at Paddington up to now.

Drivers will announce to customers that the train will wait for a few minutes for the scheduled arrival time into Paddington.

These pauses are temporary and will stop in May 2023, although some shorter pauses will still be needed.

Services to and from Iver

Elizabeth line services to and from Reading no longer 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 six trains per hour.

onboard an elizabeth line train

Fares and ticketing

  • 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
  • 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 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

Timeline

By May 2023

  • Services run to the final peak timetable
  • 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.