Elizabeth line Liverpool Street station signage

Elizabeth line offers direct services into central London

New ‘through routes’ have opened to join with the Elizabeth Line on Sunday 6th November, seeing lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield now connected with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line. These routes will create new, direct journeys across the capital and out of Heathrow Airport, creating improved access links for commuters, leisure and international travel which will all massively bolster the economic growth within the areas.

This introduction of direct services along the Elizabeth line, into central London, will transform the passenger experience across the route as customers can now experience reduced journey times and a maximised line capacity. The frequency of services in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel has increased from 12 trains per hour all day to up to 22 trains per hour in peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak. This major increase to services, accompanied by the Sunday journeys, will have a transformative effect to ease congestion across the network throughout central London.

People landing at Heathrow Airport will now be able to travel straight through central London on a direct train to areas such as Farringdon and Canary Wharf in as little as 36 and 45 minutes respectively at weekends and 40 and 51 minutes respectively during the week.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“Today marks a landmark moment as passengers from across the South East can now benefit from more frequent services, longer operating hours and direct state-of-the-art Elizabeth line services seven days a week. Through our £9 billion investment, it’s great to have contributed to a line which in just five short months has shown itself to be a staple of London’s transport network delivering over 60 million journeys and creating over 55,000 jobs.”

The through running of services from the east and west sections into the central section of the Elizabeth line means that, for the first time, services into the central section will be intertwined with national rail infrastructure. Due to this, Transport for London (TfL) is currently collaborating with Network Rail, Great Western Railway, and other stakeholders to ensure the stability of national rail sections whilst also upholding frequency and reliability within the central section.

  • Customers travelling from Reading and Heathrow are now able to travel east all the way to Abbey Wood without needing to change at Paddington mainline station.
  • Customers travelling from Shenfield will be able to travel west all the way to Paddington without needing to change at Liverpool Street mainline station.
  • . Journeys from the east to destinations beyond Paddington, including towards Heathrow or Reading, will be possible by changing trains and waiting on the same platform at any central London Elizabeth line station for the next direct train.

full peak timetable, which will see 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel, is on track to be in place by May 2023.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

 “I’m delighted that from Sunday people will be able to benefit from fast and direct Elizabeth line services into central London, seven days a week. This development is a huge moment for the capital’s connectivity, revolutionising the way we travel across London, allowing people to travel from Stratford in the east of London to Paddington in the west of London in just 19 minutes, and Ealing Broadway to Canary Wharf in just over 30 minutes.

“Services running on Sundays through central London will make thousands of journeys quicker, easier, and more comfortable. Now services from outside London are connected with the stations in centre of the capital, people can be quickly transported on the Elizabeth line all the way through the city. This new stage of the Elizabeth line will bring a huge boost to our city – including encouraging people to make the most of the capital and will help support businesses in the heart of our city. I’m so proud of this transformational addition to our public transport network. The Elizabeth line is helping to build a better London – a fairer, greener, and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”

TfL is working with Network Rail to run the best possible service for customers next week during the planned industrial action on national rail. TfL will ensure that it can operate as many Elizabeth line services as possible, but through running services will not be possible on some days during the industrial action. Customers are advised to check before they travel, and TfL expects full direct services to resume from Thursday 10 November.


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