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Elizabeth Line journey times: How long will it take to travel across London?

After nearly four years of delays, the Elizabeth Line is set to begin operating this summer (Picture: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg / Getty Images

We’ve all probably experienced delays to our train journeys, but when it comes to the Elizabeth Line and the Crossrail service, nothing quite matches up.

The new Travel for London (TfL) service is expected to provide a 10% increase in rail capacity in central London, linking 41 stations over 100 kilometers from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east .

It was initially planned for launch in 2018, but with rising budgets and setbacks – including the Covid-19 pandemic – it has long missed that proposed debut.

But with work now back on track, the line is expected to start operating within central London from June 2022, with the rest of the line set to follow across the Autumn.

So, just how long will the journeys take on the Elizabeth Line, both within the city and across the rest of the line?

How long will the new Crossrail take to travel across London?

The Elizabeth Line promises to give 1.5 million more people access to central London within 45 minutes, as well as reducing journey times across the capital.

Elizabeth line tube map

Trials and tests on the line have been running since the end of 2021 (Picture: Crossrail)

To reach this goal, the project has required 42 kilometers of new tunnels, 10 new stations, over 50 kilometers of new track.

Here is a breakdown of the sections of the line, projected journey times, as well as when they are expected to begin operating.

Central section: June 2022

Trains will start at Paddington in the West and go through to Abbey Wood and will pass through such stations as Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf.

Example journey times:

  • Bond Street to Liverpool Street: Seven minutes
  • Woolwich to Farringdon: 14 minutes
  • Paddington to Canary Wharf: 17 minutes

East section: Autumn 2022

This section will run from Liverpool Street station to Shenfield in Essex, passing through east London areas such as Stratford and Romford.

Example journey times:

  • Stratford to Bond Street: 15 minutes
  • Romford to Liverpool Street: 27 minutes

Eventually, passengers will be able to travel from Reading and Heathrow through central London to Shenfield or Abbey Wood without needing to change trains.

A journey from Paddington to an east London location like Canary Wharf is expected to take less than 2o0 minutes (Picture: Crossrail)

West section: Autumn 2022

This route will begin at Paddington mainline station and will split after Hayes & Harlington.

One branch will carry on to Maidenhead and Reading and the other to Heathrow airport terminals.

Example journey times:

  • Tottenham Court Road to Ealing Broadway: 13 minutes
  • Paddington to Slough: 26 minutes

It should be noted that these times are estimates at this point, with the final version of the timetable is expected to be in place by May 2023.

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