The Reading to Paddington section of the Elizabeth Line is already open. The rest of the Crossrail project isn’t far behind, and it’s promised that travel times in the capital will be slashed.
Thanks to the Elizabeth Line, Paddington to Canary Wharf will take just 16 minutes, Tottenham Court Road to Woolwich just 20 minutes and Liverpool Street to Abbey Wood also just 20 minutes. Nothing to be sneezed at, as these are all less than half the time it takes to make the current equivalent journeys.
Journey times are key to making the Elizabeth Line as attractive as possible, bringing Transport for London (TfL) much needed additional revenue. Although these are the headline figures, there will also be a handful of extra ways we can squeeze out precious extra minutes when the rest of the line opens within the next three months, reports MyLondon.
READ MORE:The difference between Crossrail and the Elizabeth Line explained
It needs to be quicker than parallel London Underground and DLR routes (notably the Central and Jubilee lines) to entice people to use it, helping to de-congest those lines which currently suffer from crowding issues. On day one, the Elizabeth Line will run in three separate sections (Heathrow/Reading-Paddington, Paddington-Abbey Wood via Liverpool Street, Liverpool Street-Shenfield).
In autumn, this will be amended to two sections (Heathrow/Reading-Abbey Wood via Paddington and Liverpool Street, Paddington-Shenfield via Liverpool Street). Finally the line will operate as one, with trains running to all destinations by May 2023.
This plan will mean negotiating the two stations to change between the initial sections (Paddington and Liverpool Street) will be key to negotiating the new line easily. We take a look at what you’ll be able do to make sure you benefit from every second of your prospective Elizabeth Line journey.
Pick your seat wisely
The huge stations along the new central section between London Paddington and Abbey Wood will come with ample interchange opportunities. As they are so large, little details such as where you sit on the train and what exit you use will affect your overall journey time, especially when switching from the Elizabeth Line to other lines.
As some stations are so large, if you use the exit closest to the west end of the train (front towards Paddington/Heathrow/Reading, rear towards Shenfield/Abbey Wood) or the east end of the train (front towards Shenfield/Abbey Wood, rear towards Paddington/Heathrow/Reading) you could actually end up exiting the train via a different station. Here’s what you can do to avoid precious moments of hesitation:
- Bond Street : west end of train for interchange with Central/Jubilee lines, east end of train for interchange with Bakerloo/Central/Victoria lines at Oxford Circus station
- Farringdon: west end of train for interchange with Thameslink, east end of train for interchange with Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan lines at Barbican station
- Liverpool Street : west end of train for interchange with Great Northern and Northern line at Moorgate station, east end of train for interchange with Greater Anglia, London Overground and Central line, either part for Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan lines
Elizabeth Line platforms at Paddington
When travelling on the new central section, there’s a simple platform lettering method which has been employed at each new station – platform A is for all trains travelling eastbound towards Abbey Wood/Shenfield and platform B is for all trains travelling westbound towards Paddington, Heathrow and then onto Reading Station.
In the initial phases of the line’s opening means passengers travelling from Berkshire, including Reading, Slough and Maidenhead will have to change trains at Paddington, and those travelling from the east, will have to change at Liverpool Street on through journeys. The Elizabeth Line trains for the outer sections of the route using mainline stations at both Paddington and Liverpool Street will arrive/depart at the highest numbered platforms. For passengers travelling to Heathrow or on the Reading line, Elizabeth Line trains will use platforms 11-14 at Paddington Station. Those travelling out towards Shenfield, will need to use platforms 13-17 at Liverpool Street.
Stations where some doors won’t open
Elizabeth line trains are 210 metres long, with nine walk-through carriages. They are significantly longer than London Underground and many National Rail trains meaning at some older stations, they are longer than the platforms they stop at.
Although some platforms have been extended to catch up with the longer trains, the rear sets of doors will not open at some stations. If the train is busy, you could risk missing your station!
As all doors in the front six carriages in the direction of travel open at all stations, it’s recommended that you sit in them. The stations where the rear doors remain closed are: Twyford , Taplow (eastbound), Burnham , Langley , Iver , Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 (some platforms), Hayes & Harlington (some platforms), Hanwell , Maryland , Forest Gate , Manor Park and Seven Kings.
On the lines of being ‘caught short’, don’t forget Elizabeth Line trains don’t have toilets so make sure you go before you board!
Tube stations with different names when you get off
At several Elizabeth Line stations, depending on what part of the train/station exit you use, you will find yourself closer to a station with a different name rather than one with the same name on a different line. You won’t be charged extra for using these ‘other’ stations, even if you go through the ticket barriers, and can find that they provide quicker interchanges. This takes place at:
-Bond Street (Elizabeth line)/Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo, Victoria lines)
-Farringdon (Elizabeth line)/Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines)
-Liverpool Street (Elizabeth line)/Moorgate (Northern line, Great Northern)
-Canary Wharf (Elizabeth line)/West India Quay (DLR)/Poplar (DLR)
-Woolwich (Elizabeth line)/Woolwich Arsenal (DLR, Southeastern, Thameslink)