Crossrail's here: The first Elizabeth Line train enters passenger service today

Rebecca Smith
All on track so far
All on track so far (Source: TfL)

The moment has finally arrived.

The first Elizabeth Line train entered passenger service this morning between Liverpool Street Main Line and Shenfield, setting off on its first trip after eight years of construction work.

The first Elizabeth Line train was initially due to enter passenger service between Liverpool Street Main Line and Shenfield by the end of May, but it was pushed back until this month as thorough testing of the train needed to be completed.

Here it is in all of its glory:

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

Read more: What you need to know about the Elizabeth Line ahead of its launch

About 11 Elizabeth Line trains are set to be rolled out from now until September along that part of the line. They will initially be 160m long and made up of seven carriages, and will later be extended to nine carriages and the full length of 200m to carry up to 1,500 people.

Mike Brown, London's transport commissioner, said:

The trains are a great showcase of British design and manufacturing with air-conditioning, interconnected carriages, improved customer information and dedicated space for wheelchairs.

The introduction of this first train gives customers a feel for the huge improvements that are to come when the Elizabeth Line opens.

The trains are being built at Bombardier transportation's UK site, supporting 760 jobs in Derby.

The stretch of line between Liverpool Street heading east to Shenfield will be the only part of the line to run, until the next stage opens in May next year. Then, the TfL Rail service will open between Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 4.

The line in its entirety will eventually run between Reading and Heathrow in the west, through London and out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The Elizabeth Line is on course to be fully open by December 2019.

Crossrail in numbers

2009 - The year construction of the new railway got underway

15,000 - the number of people who have worked on the project

100m - the number of working hours that have been completed

600 - the number of apprentices that have been recruited for work on the project

30 - the number of years it has taken for a new complete underground line

8 - 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines have bored 26 miles of new rail tunnels under London

10 - new stations have been created in central and Southeast London for Crossrail

3/4 - the proportion of the route that will run above ground on the existing rail network

2019 - the year the Elizabeth Line will be open in its entirety

Read more: Crossrail latest: First Elizabeth Line train won't enter service in May

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