Thursday 5 July 2018 9:41 am

Crossrail’s coming: Here’s the date the Elizabeth Line will open in December

London has long been counting down the days for when the Elizabeth Line finally goes live, and now we have a date.

While the launch of the Elizabeth Line may have been slightly dampened by the news it might not be accompanied by a pedestrianised Oxford Street after Westminster City Council (WCC) unexpectedly pulled the plug, the good news is that the Elizabeth Line is set to get up and running in December, with the launch date given as 9 December.

This was confirmed by WCC in their update on Oxford Street last week, in which it said it was looking closely at what pedestrian safety measures may be required in advance of the opening of the Elizabeth Line stations at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street.

Businesses and environmental groups raised concern that the council's decision to pull the plug on Oxford Street would lead to dangerous levels of overcrowding once the Elizabeth Line comes into force, as the new line is expected to greatly increase the number of visitors to the area.

The Elizabeth Line is due to be fully operational in December 2019, and will be opened in stages.

The first phase, from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, opened in the summer of this year through TfL Rail, while the second stage from Heathrow to Paddington went live in May 2018.

It is the third stage from Paddington through central London to Abbey Wood, that is scheduled to go live on 9 December.

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “The Elizabeth line remains on course to open through central London in December, as planned.”

Elizabeth Line timeline

  • Stage one: Trains start operating from Liverpool Street to Shenfield – June 2017 (TfL Rail)
  • Stage two: Trains start operating from Heathrow to Paddington (main line platforms) – May 2018 (TfL Rail)
  • Stage three: Trains start operating from Paddington (Elizabeth line platforms) to Abbey Wood, through the new central tunnels – December 2018
  • Stage four: Trains start operating from Paddington (Elizabeth line platforms) to Shenfield – May 2019
  • Stage five: Full through service (including Elizabeth line services to Reading) – December 2019

Stage 2 May 2018: New class 345 rolling stock introduced on TfL Rail services Paddington – Heathrow

Stage 3 December 2018: Elizabeth Line opens with services running Liverpool Street – Shenfield; Paddington – Heathrow; Paddington – Abbey Wood

Stage 4 May 2019: Elizabeth Line through services extend to Shenfield

Stage 5 December 2019: Elizabeth Line fully open with services running between Reading and Heathrow and Abbey Wood and Shenfield

(Source: TfL)

And here's how it will look among the rest of the network: