If you were out and about in central London over the weekend, you might have noticed tube carriages filling up even more than usual in the zones nearing Buckingham Palace. Maybe you were even heading that way yourself to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last Thursday (September 8).
And those crowds are not going to diminish, either. In the lead up the Queen’s funeral, swathes of people are expected to head into the city, particularly when the Queen’s coffin is lying in state.
To help transport those paying their respects, the Elizabeth line will run on a Sunday (September 18) – the day before the funeral – for the first time since the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June.
The Elizabeth line, named after the longest-reigning Monarch in the country’s history, opened in May – coinciding with the year she celebrated 70 years on the throne. Queen Elizabeth II was also present to officially open the line at Paddington station.
Aside from celebrating the Platinum Jubilee, the line doesn’t run on Sundays, but this weekend it will make an exception and run 12 trains per hour (in each direction) on its central section – between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
Last weekend, some station closures had to be implemented due to the crowds of people flocking towards Buckingham Palace, and, when the Queen’s coffin arrives on Wednesday for the laying-in-state at Westminster Hall, these numbers are expected to rise even further.
Over a million people are slated to visit the Queen’s coffin, and Westminster Hall is set to remain open for 24-hours a day until the 6:30am next Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral (which is marked by a bank holiday).
After this weekend, the Elizabeth line will continue to run no service on Sundays, though this is due to change when the service expands in November.