Since opening for public use on Tuesday 24th May, the Elizabeth Line’s central section has been estimated to have seen over one million journeys already, putting London’s £18.9 billion to the test. The TfL added that the overall line has had more than two million trips, seeing passengers travel from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.
The new train line represents a major boost to the overall rail infrastructure in London, with the potential to generate massive income, whilst also boosting the economic strength of the surrounding areas.
This economic strengthening stems from the journey times between Abbey Wood and Paddington being cut down by almost half to approximately 29 minutes while trips between Farringdon and Canary Wharf will now take around 10 minutes, instead of 24. This drastic boost to operating availability will ensure enhanced capacity for usage, thus allowing commuters a stable method of transport.
Howard Smith, TfL’s director of the Elizabeth line, hailed the new service, commenting on it receiving “a great reception” with hundreds of thousands of customers flocking to it each day.
“It is already having a transformative impact on local businesses and opening up access to new areas of London.”
The capacity for the line was, originally estimated to be carrying more than 200 million passengers per year, though the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that the TfL believe the line will not reach 170 million by 2026. The rail industry has been battling to generate returns to pre pandemic numbers of passengers, with the Elizabeth line helping to encourage more demand, to fit with the improved supply of services.
Sadiq Khan has hailed the Line, stating:
“I’ve been blown away by this fantastic new line, it’s fit for a Queen, with spacious and speedy trains and stunning stations.
“The Elizabeth line will revolutionise travel across London and will boost rail capacity in central London by 10%, the largest single increase for more than 70 years.
“The Elizabeth Line is bringing an economic boost as we continue to recover from the pandemic, tempting more people back to offices and businesses in the heart of our city.”
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