The Elizabeth Line opened at 6.30 am on May 24 2022, marking a momentous milestone for the delivery of this ambitious project which will benefit West London and the Thames Valley.
Following a ceremony held for the Queen a week earlier, the day was more about passengers enjoying their first journeys and the key players making themselves available for interview.
At an event held in the new Elizabeth Line Station Woolwich, Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London, Andy Byford TfL Commissioner, Baroness Vere Transport Minister and the Right Hon Nick Raynsford former MP for Greenwich, made themselves available.
Nick Raynsford, who had campaigned for Crossrail and the new station in Greenwich, said,” It’s a game-changer for London and the country. It’s a great, great day.”
Andy Byford spoke about the impact on the whole country, not just London, with manufacturing taking place in Derby and the Isle of Wight. The mayor, Sadiq Kahn, repeated this message of “levelling up in action”. More than 90 per cent of contracts awarded went to companies in the UK and 62 per cent to companies outside London.
The Elizabeth line will increase London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent with trains that can carry 1,500 passengers across nine walk-through carriages. The new line will cover over 100 kilometres and have 41 stations, 10 of which are newly built.
The trains are clean, spacious, and fast. The stations all have step-free access and are state of the art. Some have unusual features, such as Canary Wharf with a rooftop garden and Bond Street with a public courtyard, encouraging visitors.
The journey from Paddington to Abbey wood is expected to take 29 minutes, and when the western section is opened, Ealing to Tottenham court road will take 13 minutes, and Paddington to Slough will take 26 minutes.
Words like game-changer and transformational describe the line, and it feels like the future is here, now.
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