Billed as London’s biggest and most important transport upgrade since the expansion of the Underground network more than 100 years ago, the new Elizabeth line will improve the lives of millions of Londoners and commuters.
Elizabeth line: travelling around London just got even quicker
Known to locals as ‘the tube’, it was the world’s first underground railway system when it opened in 1863. Today, this subterranean rail network handles up to five million passenger journeys a day – and that capacity just got bigger.
On 17 May 2022, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened a brand-new tube line that has been named in her honour: the eponymous Elizabeth line, which was three-and-a-half years late and at least £4bn over budget – but it was worth the wait.
Elizabeth line: the facts
- This 73-mile railway runs from the west to the east of London, tunnelling underground through central London – making it one of Europe’s biggest construction projects.
- Work began in 2009, with 10,000 workers employed on the 13-year project.
- It comprises two western branches, terminating at Reading and Heathrow Airport, and two eastern branches, terminating at Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in southeast London.
- The route passes through 41 stations.
- Ten new stations have been constructed in central London, connecting Paddington, Bond Street, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf.
- The line is predicted to increase London’s train capacity by 10%.
- When fully operational, it will carry up to 200 million passengers each year.
- The line’s new trains can carry up to 1,500 passengers each – significantly more than services on other London Underground lines.
When will the line be complete?
The final timetable will become fully operational by May 2023, when the number of services running on the central section of the line will increase to 24 per hour during peak times. Direct services will be introduced between Shenfield and Heathrow Airport at the same time.
How long will journeys take?
Passengers will delight in the rapid journey times:
- Abbey Wood to Paddington now takes just 28 minutes
- Farringdon to Canary Wharf is more than halved to 10 minutes
- Liverpool Street to Paddington will be slashed from 18 to 10 minutes
- Liverpool Street to Woolwich will be halved to 15 minutes
There’s so much to see and do when you move to London, and this new tube line will help you get there in no time at all.
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