Elizabeth line’s next phase starts on 6 November

Trains to run in central section from east and west

The next phase of the introduction of full Elizabeth Line trains from Reading/Heathrow to Abbey Wood/Shenfield starts on 6 November with trains running into the central section from either end.

Furthermore, the central section will be open on Sundays from that day, marking another major development in the Elizabeth Line’s commissioning. From 6 November, passengers will be able to travel from Reading/Heathrow Airport to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington. Journey times from Heathrow to Canary Wharf are expected to be 45 minutes at weekends and 51 minutes on Mondays-Fridays.

While most trains will run through the central section, Transport for London says some may still terminate at Paddington or Liverpool Street: to regulate trains coming into Paddington, some could be held outside the station before being routed into the tunnels.

Service frequency will increase on the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel from 12 trains per hour to up to 22, with 16 running off-peak.

Full operation on the route with 24 trains per hour running at peak times in the central section is expected to start by May 2023 at the latest.

Tottenham Court station on the Elizabeth Line
Tottenham Court station on the Elizabeth Line Tom Nicholson for TfL

Bond Street to open In another development, the much-delayed Bond Street station is on schedule to open before the 6 November timetable changes, although no definitive date has been confirmed. Opening hours, meanwhile, are being extended from 5 September, with services running between Paddington and Abbey Wood from around 05.30 to 23.00.

Since the route opened on 24 May, more than 11 million journeys have been made on the central section – over 200,000 per day.

Further engineering works are due to take place, on 12/19-20 November with no trains running between Shenfield and Liverpool Street. On the latter two days, Heathrow station will be closed. Further closures at Christmas to complete enabling works for the final phase of the Elizabeth Line are expected to be announced later this year.

London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said: ‘When we delivered on our promise to open the central section of the Elizabeth line in the first half of this year, I further promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and that the next phase of the line opening would also be achieved within that timeframe. I am excited to see the Elizabeth line unlock quicker and better journey options, greater accessibility, and further connectivity to jobs and leisure for even more people. This will be another giant leap for London’s public transport system, which supports economic growth in the capital and right across the country.’