A challenger has appeared as the Elizabeth Line train has commenced through-running through the Crossrail core.
And yes, the Purple trains will be going through it
The new configuration of the Elizabeth line means that trains from the West (Reading and Heathrow branches) will mostly go through the Crossrail core and terminate at Abbey Wood. Meanwhile, from the East (Shenfield), trains will go through the core and terminate at Paddington.
Passengers who need to access Heathrow from the Shenfield branch will need to change inside the Crossrail core. Similarly, passengers travelling from Reading/Heathrow Branches, needing to transfer to the Shenfield route will need to make the same change.
Thankfully, these changes can be done on the same platform. TfL suggests Whitechapel as a change point.
Until this point, the Elizabeth Line operated as three different railways:
- The Crossrail Core (Paddington – Abbey Wood)
- West London (Paddington – Heathrow/Reading)
- East London (Liverpool Street – Shenfield)
Not all services will use the core and will terminate at Paddington or Liverpool Street – as always, check when you travel.
There is big news for Heathrow travellers, as those who are travelling beyond Paddington to the West End and the City can now utilise a one-seat ride to get closer to their destination, without resorting to the underground network early in their travels.
In terms of timings, from Heathrow Terminal 2 and 3, the times look a bit like this:
- Bond Street in 32 minutes
- Farringdon in 37 minutes
- Canary Wharf in 47 minutes, allowing for a one-seat ride from the largest airport in the UK to the main business centres.
Typically, services go onward to Terminal 4 – however, you can always change at Heathrow Terminal 2 and 3 for connections to Terminal 4 and 5 as needed.
With the Elizabeth Line services now ramping up, there are some big changes – mainly, the central section will experience a massive uplift in services from 12 trains per hour, up to 22 in the peak, and 16 off-peak.
In addition, trains will now run at a greater variety of times, with services starting around 5:30 in the morning and ending near midnight.
This will also introduce Sunday running through the core as well, meaning that there will be services seven days a week (except when there are engineering works).
Onto the final change
There will be a lot of bedding-in to be done as the final part of the Elizabeth Line project, with the full timetable to be delivered in May 2023, with stakeholders understanding the impact of through-running.
However, in May 2023, there will be further changes, with end-to-end journeys through the line, including from Shenfield to Heathrow, and up to 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.
For those travelling into the City of London and beyond, it’s going to be a major shift in how they travel, with more capacity on through the area.
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