Crossrail goes bigger: TfL to ramp up frequency of Elizabeth Line services and boost number of trains

Rebecca Smith
The first train entered passenger service last month
The first train entered passenger service last month (Source: TfL)

More services will be run on the Elizabeth Line than originally planned, Transport for London (TfL) announced today.

Services from Reading will be doubled, while there will also be increased services to Maidenhead, Ealing Broadway, Southall and Hayes & Harlington when the line becomes fully operational at the end of 2019. TfL is bolstering the number of trains operating on the new line too, from 66 to 70 trains.

Read more: Crossrail latest: New pictures reveal Elizabeth Line tunnels shaping up

Off-peak services between Paddington and Whitechapel will be increased from 16 trains, as previously planned, to 20 trains an hour, while another two trains per hour will run between Paddington and Shenfield. Another two per hour will run between Paddington and Abbey Wood during the off-peak.

Meanwhile, peak services to destinations west of Paddington will be upped, with services from Reading doubled to four trains an hour, and those to Maidenhead up from four trains to six an hour.

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

The increased frequency comes after discussions with the department for transport, Network Rail, and the train operating firms, about a final timetable for the services.

Mike Brown, 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.

It was also recently announced that trains will call at Heathrow Terminal 5, so all of the airport's terminals will be served by the Elizabeth Line.

The first train entered passenger service last month between Liverpool Street Main Line and Shenfield.

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 mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "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."

Read more: Elizabeth Line launch will change London's geography, says Crossrail honcho

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