The Jolly Confusing Bit-By-Bit Way The Elizabeth Line Will Open

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Crossrail Open Dates

The Elizabeth Line (formely Crossrail) will be opening in 2018. But, like, when?

We’re glad you asked, because it’s all a bit confusing. Here’s how it goes down…

Stage 1:  This Ain’t No Elizabeth Line

This already happened, which just consists of new trains operating between Shenfield and Liverpool Street. Yawn!

Stage 2: Closer, But Still Not Crossrail

Elizabeth Line Opening Dates

From May 2018, new trains will also start operating on the usual tracks between Heathrow and Paddington, via Southall and Ealing. So in that sense, it’s pretty like Stage 1.

Stage 3: Come Into Our Tunnels – It’s Crossrail!

Crossrail opening dates, map

From December 2018, trains will fianlly start running through the all-new tunnels under central London!
And officially, this will be the Elizabeth Line opening date.

But wait, there’s a catch. Actually, there are four catches:

🛑 Trains from Heathrow will still terminate at Paddington. (You can then go from the ‘regular’ station to the new Crossrail station to catch a new train through the tunnels.)
🛑 Trains from Shenfield will terminate at Liverpool Street. (Again you’ll need to change trains for the central section.)
✅  Trains from Abbey Wood will run straight the central section, before stopping at Paddington.
⛔️ Oh, and none of this is running from Reading and Slough yet.

Stage 4: The East-lizabeth Line

Crossrail opening 2018

Can you spot the difference? After May 201, trains from Shenfield will no longer terminate at Liverpool Street, and will continue through the central section to… Paddington, where all trains still terminate.


Elizabeth Line When Does It Open

Shout it from the rooftops! In December 2019, every Londoner’s secret fantasy – the non-stop train journey from Reading to Shenfield – will finally be a reality. The Reading-Slough branch will open, the Paddington termination nonsense will stop, and trains will run from all places to all destinations, forever and ever, amen.

God save the queen, and her transit regime.

Here’s what the tube map will look like with the Elizabeth Line on it.

Guy Parsons

Guy Parsons

Guy is the editor-in-chief of Secret London. He likes running, cover versions and scotch.

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