Elizabeth line: opening date of tube line, route map, stations, how long does it take from London to Heathrow?

The new Elizabeth line service will directly link Canary Wharf with Heathrow Airport by rail “for the first time”.

The Elizabeth line will be fully connected up in November, Transport for London has announced, allowing passengers to travel direct from east London to Heathrow. in May 2022, however Transport for London (TFL) have now announced that the lines will be joined up imminently.

The Crossrail project finally opened in May, however sections of the line were split, with trains going from Reading and Heathrow to Paddington, Paddington to Liverpool Street and Abbey Wood, and Liverpool Street to Shenfield.

The next phase will open on 6 November and will cut the need for passengers to change trains. Sections of the line will be joined up, with trains going from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington.

The delayed Bond Street Elizabeth line station, at the heart of London’s West End, will also open in autumn - although a precise date has yet to be set.

Crossrail said delays were due to major challenges with software, track signalling and installing equipment.

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What is the next phase of the Elizabeth Line?

Elizabeth line services will be available seven days a week with Sunday services across central London also set to commence for the very first time from Sunday 6 November.

This next phase will see trains operating direct services from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood and from Shenfield to Paddington.

Trains operating between Paddington and Whitechapel will see an increase in frequency from 12 services each hour with 22 trains every hour at peak times and 16 trains at off-peak.

It is expected that by May 2023 the final timetable will be in operation and will see 24 trains each hour at peak times between Paddington and Whitechapel.

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The Bond Street station will also have two new ticket halls at street level at Davies Street and Hanover Square and “is in line to open ahead of the new services on the railway,” the transport body said.

From Monday 5 September, extended opening hours will run on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from around 05:30 to around 23:00.

The third and final stage of the line’s opening, allowing direct trains to run between Reading or Heathrow and Shenfield,  is due to happen next May.

How often will trains run to Heathrow airport?

Those landing at Heathrow Airport will also benefit from the new services.

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Travel can be made straight through to central London to locations such as Farringdon and Canary Wharf with journey times from just 36 and 45 minutes respectively at weekends, and 40 and 51 minutes respectively mid-week.

The new services will also enable passengers heading from Reading and Heathrow the ability to travel east to Abbey Wood without the need to change at Paddington.

Customers travelling to onward destinations such as Heathrow Airport or towards Reading can do so by simply changing trains using the same platform at any of the central London stations.

What’s been said?

Andy Byford, London’s Transport commissioner, said: “When we delivered on our promise to open the central section of the Elizabeth line in the first half of this year, I further promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and that the next phase of the line opening would also be achieved within that time frame.

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“I am excited to see the Elizabeth line unlock quicker and better journey options, greater accessibility, and further connectivity to jobs and leisure for even more people.”

He added: “This will be another giant leap for London’s public transport system, which supports economic growth in the capital and right across the country.”

Ross Baker Heathrow chief commercial officer said: “This is a huge step in boosting rail connections to the UK’s hub airport directly linking Canary Wharf with Heathrow by rail for the first time.

“This gives our passengers and colleagues more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The opening of the new Elizabeth line has been a landmark moment, not just for London but for the entire country, helping to contribute £42 billion to the national economy.

"It’s great news that from November, Elizabeth line trains will run directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington, seven days a week.”

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Just under three months ago, I had the pleasure of riding on the very first Elizabeth line service, which thanks to £9 billion of Government investment, has already created 55,000 jobs across the UK, and will contribute £42 billion to the economy and seen a whopping 11 million journeys.

“From November, even more passengers will be able to benefit from this fantastic line with the introduction of Sunday services, direct journeys to Berkshire and Essex and a brand new station at Bond Street.”