The Elizabeth line will – subject to final safety approvals – open on Tuesday 24 May.
Trains will run every five minutes on the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood from 06.30 to 23.00 on Mondays to Saturdays. They will continue to run from Reading/Heathrow Airport to Paddington and Liverpool Street-Shenfield until the autumn, with through services expected to start in the autumn.
Outside operating hours and on Sundays, work will continue on testing and software upgrades ahead of full through services starting.
Signage is being uncovered across the TfL network in preparation for the start of the service, while the Tube and Rail map will be released, showing the central section stations connected with the rest of the TfL network for the first time. All trains running on the route operating as TfL Rail will receive Elizabeth line branding.
TfL Commissioner Andy Byford said: ‘I am delighted that we can now announce a date for the opening of the Elizabeth line in May. We are using these final few weeks to continue to build up reliability on the railway and get the Elizabeth line ready to welcome customers. The opening day is set to be a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, and we look forward to showcasing a simply stunning addition to our network.’
All central section stations bar Bond Street – which has closed an 18-month delay in opening – will be open from day one, with Bond Street expected to open later this year.
The c£18 billion project was due to open in 2018 and has cost in the order of £4 billion more than the £14.8 billion originally anticipated.