The full and complete opening of London’s new Elizabeth line rail service will take place on 21 May, just under one year after Transport for London took over operating it, the transport authority has announced.
Peak time frequencies on the central section of the line between Paddington and Whitechapel will increase from 22 to 24 trains per hour in both directions, and passengers travelling from stations in east London and Essex will for the first time be able to travel directly as far as Heathrow without having to change trains.
A new timetable will also see a restoration of 12 train per hour frequency between Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood in peak travel period which was reduced from November 2022 under a temporary arrangement.
Further improvements to the service will include an increase in peak services from Reading into London and what TfL calls “the removal of any significant pauses for trains between Paddington and Action main line”, as has also been the case since November.
The changes will conclude a 12-month period in which weekday use of the Elizabeth line has reached around 600,000 journeys a day and seen it become the UK’s busiest railway.
TfL Commissioner Andy Lord said the Elizabeth line has “transformed the lives of Londoners and visitors to the city” and Sadiq Khan said “the introduction of the final timetable next month marks the last milestone of the Crossrail project and will enable the Elizabeth line to provide even more frequent, speedier journeys and better connect the capital.”