After countless delays and cost overrun, the much-maligned Elizabeth Line – formerly known as Crossrail – will finally take its first fare this week with passengers.
The Elizabeth Line, the latest addition to London’s growing public transport network, is finally set to open to passengers this week.
The long-delayed and over-budgeted, Elizabeth Line – also known as Crossrail – has been the subject of much criticism over the years, but the capital’s train capacity is expected to increase by 10%.
The journey from Paddington to Canary Wharf took just 18 minutes when the new line was launched. But what exactly is the Elizabeth Line, where does it go, when will it go – and how much did it cost to build it?
What is the Elizabeth Line?
The Elizabeth Line, or Crossrail, is a new passenger train service that connects central London with some of its surroundings.
It was officially opened by the Queen on May 17 before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The first passenger service will run on this route this week.
Like other London Underground lines, the Elizabeth Line has its own purple sphere. The line is also shown in purple on the London Underground map.
Elizabeth Line trains will carry up to 1,500 passengers per train – more than any other underground train in London.
It took decades to work on the new line with the first east-west crossrail system recommended by an official survey in early 1974.
It was not until 2007 that the project received final approval, and work began in May 2009. After several delays, this work took just over 13 years to complete.
Where does the Elizabeth Line go?
The 73-mile Elizabeth Line runs between Berkshire in the west and Essex in the east, passing through central London.
Its west terminus at Reading, its east terminus at Shenfield. The line will also serve at Heathrow Airport, with stops at Terminal 2 and 3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.
A total of 10 new stations have been built in the central and south-eastern part of the line, and 31 more existing stations are being upgraded.
When does the Elizabeth Line open?
Elizabeth Line’s first service will run from Abbey Wood to Paddington on Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.
However, the line will not initially run direct end-to-end services because it will be opened in phases. Also, the new Bond Street station will not open until the end of this year.
Initially it will run in three separate sections: between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington; From Paddington to Abby Wood and from Shanfield to Liverpool Street.
From the autumn, Elizabeth Line trains will run from Heathrow to Paddington and through the central part of the service.
The line will be fully operational from May 2023 when its full schedule will be operational.
The line was originally scheduled to open by December 2018 If the first service runs on Tuesday, it will be about three and a half years after that date
How much does it cost to travel the Elizabeth Line?
The Elizabeth Line fares are the same as the London Underground. It was approved in 2018 by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
As a result, the cost of traveling between Zones 1 to 6 is equivalent to a standard tube ride, while fares elsewhere on the Elizabeth Line are the same as for existing rail services.
Will the Elizabeth Line be open 24 hours?
The Elizabeth Line will not work 24 hours. Instead, trains initially run every five minutes Monday to Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
However, there will be no Sunday service except June 5 when the Platinum Jubilee, Transport for London, runs from 8am to 10pm.
How much did the Elizabeth Line cost?
The cost of the Elizabeth Line or Crossrail project is estimated at £ 18.9bn – bn 4bn more than the original £ 14.8bn budget.
Troubled by delays and rising costs, the project has drawn widespread criticism, especially from people in the region who lack comparative public transport investment.
Why was the Elizabeth Line built?
The Elizabeth Line aims to increase rail capacity within London, reduce travel time, improve accessibility, and boost the capital’s economy.
But with much of Britain’s regional rail network outside of London in disrepair, many wonder why so much public money has been poured into the crossrail.