On Tuesday 24th May 2022, a brand new section of the London railway – The Elizabeth Line. This was unveiled and we’ve taken a look at all of the important information that you need to know.
In the first week of the Elizabeth line opening, there were over one million passenger journeys completed by the public showing how strong the new travel network has become (and those wanting to become part of the opening celebrations of the new rail network in and around London).
What was the Elizabeth Line known as and how did it get its name?
Originally called “Crossrail”, the Elizabeth line is a railway upgrade project under central London.
The project was renamed Elizabeth line in honour of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II who opened the line as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It was created to provide high-frequency travel for passengers between the two major lines already travelling through the capital – Great Western Main Line and Great Eastern Main Line. By joining these two existing lines, the Elizabeth line will create a better connected travel network for travellers and commuters alike.
What are the new and upgraded stations?
During the unveiling of the new Elizabeth line, a large number of new stations were added.
Each of these features state of the art technology and design to give all customers of the rail route a fantastic experience. The route will reach a total of 41 stations.
The extensions and changes to stations on the Elizabeth Line are as follows:
Bond Street (opening later in 2022)
Several other stations along the new route were refurbished to bring them in line with the new stations and feature brighter and more spacious ticket halls and waiting areas. Each platform has step-free access with new lifts and footbridges.
How much new infrastructure is on the Elizabeth Line?
Over the course of the project being completed, there has been a huge focus to install the infrastructure for the line.
From the 118km of track used, 42km is brand new for the line and features state of the art signalling systems.
CBTC (Communications-Based Train Control), ETCS (European Railway Traffic Management System) and TPWS (Train Protection & Warning System) are all used to ensure the schedule runs as smoothly as possible while maintaining excellent safety standards. Tests were completed with 1 train initially, and concluded while running 22 trains simultaneously.
A total of 10 new stations were built for the Elizabeth line, with a further 31 being expanded and upgraded.
What trains are used on the Elizabeth Line?
To celebrate the opening of the new London underground line, all new trains are running along the route to not only increase the customer experience but to provide the most reliable service to go along with the new line opening.
Each train was built at Bombardier Transportation in Derby and features the following fantastic specification:
- Space for up to 1500 passengers.
- Nine walk-through carriages with a total length of 200m.
- Three sets of double doors in each carriage to make it easier to enter and exit.
- Air conditioning
- Information screens
- Energy-saving intelligent lighting and temperature controls.
- Free Wi-Fi on platforms (with Wi-Fi access within tunnels to be introduced later in 2022)
These impressive new trains add to the appeal of the new line launching and help you travel more comfortably in and around the capital.
How often do services run on the Elizabeth Line?
Currently the service on the Elizabeth Line is available between 06:30 and 23:00 Monday to Sunday with 12 trains an hour – one every 5 minutes.
Work is still ongoing on the line on Sundays to allow the next phase of the Elizabeth line to be launched in autumn, expanding the network even further. This is intended to double the number of direct journeys from the east and west by Autumn 2022.
Where does the Elizabeth Line start and finish?
Currently, the Elizabeth line runs from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Reading and Heathrow in the west. This line utilises around 42km (26 miles) of new tunnels to provide the easiest travel experience.
The Elizabeth line in total is around 118km (73 miles), but this is if all of the existing track was laid end to end.
While this is simply the initial stage of the opening for the Elizabeth line, there is plenty more planned for the extremely ambitious rail project further into 2022, early 2023 and beyond. Adding to the availability (and ease of use) of the travel network is extremely important for travel and tourism purposes and we look forward to seeing how the project progresses in the future.
When did the planning of the project begin?
Believe it or not, the plans started in 1974 for the new line when the government recommended a route(known as Crossrail at the time) that was inspired by the Paris rail network. In 2001, Transport for London and the Department for Transport setup a joint body to develop the new line – Cross London Rain Links.
The government committed a total of £15.9bn funding to complete the scheme in 2005 and in 2009, the construction started with the foundations of the Canary Wharf station after years of planning.
In 2016, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II visited the construction works and the announcement was made that Crossrail will be eventually named the Elizabeth line upon opening.
Did the Elizabeth Line open on time and on budget?
Due to constraints not considered, the initial budget of £15.9bn was missed by £2.35bn (for a total cost of £18.25bn. Not only was the budget cap increased by over 10%, the initial opening date of Autumn 2019 was missed by nearly 3 years with the line finally opening in May 2022.
Planning projects of this scale could have been aided by this generation’s business intelligence software, which uses sophisticated modelling and simulations to account for any setbacks that may occur.
If you are looking to plan upgrades or schedule maintenance on any rail network, contact one of our team today to see how our Business Intelligence rail software can help make your planning more cost effective, easier and accurate.