Services on the Elizabeth line are set to be more extensive and frequent than originally planned – with Heathrow getting a much improved service – when the line becomes fully operational in December 2019, Transport for London has announced.
Peak services to destinations west of Paddington will be boosted significantly, with services from Reading doubled from 2 trains per hour to 4 trains per hour, and services to Maidenhead increased from 4 trains per hour to 6 trains per hour.
The improved frequency of trains has been announced following collaboration with the DfT, Network Rail and the train operating companies on a final timetable for services.
Trains will now also call at Heathrow Terminal 5 – meaning all Heathrow Terminals will be served by the Elizabeth line. A total of six Elizabeth line trains per hour will serve Heathrow Terminals from December 2019. Four will go to Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and two will go to Terminals 2, 3 and 5. This will also increase services to Ealing Broadway, Southall and Hayes & Harlington.
These improvements will provide additional capacity and help ease pressure on other public transport services.
To enable the additional services, TfL will be increasing the number of trains that will operate on the Elizabeth line from 66 to 70 trains.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London, with new state-of-the-art trains moving passengers quickly across key parts of London and the South East. I am delighted that we can today announce that Elizabeth line services will be more frequent than originally planned, making journeys even more convenient for people travelling in and out of London, and helping ease pressure on other parts of our busy transport network. With more regular services connecting central London with key locations like Heathrow Airport, the benefits will be felt directly by millions of commuters, tourists, and businesses every year.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, said: “It’s great news there will be more services on the Elizabeth line, meaning more passengers can travel with greater convenience across London and beyond on trains which are an example of British engineering at its best. The Elizabeth line will transform the way people travel across London and beyond, bringing better and faster journeys, while boosting jobs and driving economic growth.”
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We want to deliver the very best service for customers from day one of the Elizabeth line. The timetable improvements that we have been developing ahead of full opening of the line in December 2019 will see additional services to destinations west of Paddington, including Reading, Maidenhead and Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as increased off-peak frequencies in central London. This will make journeys on the new accessible line even easier and more convenient for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to use it each day.”
TfL and the Department for Transport, the joint sponsors of the Crossrail project, have been working with Network Rail to ensure the best use of the shared railway infrastructure in west London and beyond. Five Great Western Railway services will be replaced with Elizabeth line services. This will provide the same or greater, frequency and the same journey times for the majority of passengers, with the added benefit of being able to continue directly into central London on the Elizabeth line.
From May 2018, new ticket readers will be installed at Heathrow, meaning passengers using Heathrow Express and TfL Rail between Paddington and Heathrow will be able to use pay as you go Oyster or a contactless device.