Cashing in on Crossrail: Elizabeth Line to bring in £3bn for Transport for London over the next five years

Rebecca Smith
The £14.8bn Elizabeth Line will be fully open by the end of 2019
The £14.8bn Elizabeth Line will be fully open by the end of 2019 (Source: Getty)

Transport for London (TfL) may be dealing with an unexpected dip in passengers of late, but it is also banking on the £14.8bn Crossrail project bringing in more people from outside London onto the Tube.

And over the next five years, the Elizabeth Line, as it will be known when it opens through central London, is forecast to bring in £3bn in passenger income.

It is set to be fully open by the end of 2019.

The Elizabeth Line will serve 41 stations and stretch across more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west through tunnels in central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Read more: Bond Street station's £300m revamp is complete - just in time for Christmas

TfL says once it's fully up and running, it will carry more than 200m passengers a year.

For 2017/18, it's expected to record 46m passenger journeys, rising to 269m five years on, according to TfL's draft business plan for the next five years.

Passenger income is expected to surge from £90m for 2017/18 up to £913m by 2022/23, as rising demand is forecast following the phased opening of the line. TfL is expecting a net operating surplus to be reached by 2020/21 of £311m.

But among all the excitement with the Elizabeth Line opening, numbers on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are expected to drop as a result.

Over TfL's five-year business plan, a three per cent dip in passenger journeys are expected on the DLR, predominantly due to the opening of the Elizabeth Line, though the transport body says this will be temporary.

The first new Elizabeth Line train entered passenger service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in June, and TfL Rail will open between Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 4 in May next year.

TfL said plans for the railway are on track, with the 10 stations being built in central London nearing completion.

Some 70 new trains will be in action by December 2019 as the service adds 10 per cent more capacity to the capital's rail network.

Elizabeth Line timeline
  • May 2018 - TfL Rail services begin between Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 4
  • December 2018 - Elizabeth Line services start on the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood
  • May 2019 - Shenfield services are connected to the central section, with trains running through to Paddington
  • December 2019 - Services west of Paddington are connected to the central section and extended to Reading and Heathrow Terminal 5. The Elizabeth Line is fully open

Read more: TfL says major Tube upgrades cancelled because of dip in passenger numbers

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