After 13 years of political fights over an east-west line under London, the Elisabeth line is the latest underground railway in the British capital.
It’s here! 🎉— Transport for London (@TfL) May 24, 2022
The Elizabeth line is now open for passenger service 💜👑
Be sure to share your photos with us! 🤗 pic.twitter.com/cB0uPsiztF
1. Elizabeth line
Large crowds of rail enthusiasts, commuters and locals turned out to catch the first of the new trains of the Elizabeth line as they departed from Paddington Station early on 24 May.
It’s one of the biggest railway openings in the UK for quite some time, so I’m very excited to see it opening after all the trials and tribulations.Will Folker, a 24-year-old London-based, told CNN Travel
Although trains started running yesterday, a full service will not be immediately available.
The new line will drastically reduce journey times across London. It’s the largest increase in the often traffic-snarled city’s rail capacity for half a century. As soon as it fully operational later in 2022, the 62-mile network will also connect far-flung commuter towns, bringing another 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of central London, and the country’s main international airport Heathrow.
Crossrail, later named Elizabeth line, was due to be completed in December 2018 and was set a budget of £14.8bn (€17.8bn) in 2010. The total cost has been estimated at £18.9bn (€22bn), including £5.1bn (€5.9bn) from the government.
Today’s the day: The Elizabeth line opens!— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) May 24, 2022
This is a big moment for London and the entire country. Get ready for modern trains, step-free stations and reduced journey times across the capital and the South East.https://t.co/xHfcCsmgvs
2. Train vs Tube
The new line intersects with other London Underground lines and stations but it’s not a Tube line, it is a railway, as denoted on the new Tube map with a double purple line rather than a solid line. The Elizabeth line uses a huge amount of the National Rail network and its trains can carry up to 1,500 passengers, many more than Tube services can.
3. Surprise visit
Last Friday, Queen Elizabeth made a surprise visit to the new railway line accompanied by Prince Edward. The 96-year-old monarch unveiled a plaque stating she had “officially opened” the Elizabeth line, named in her honour. The monarch spent 10 minutes in the station before departing, escorted by Prince Edward.
During the ceremony, the Queen and the Prince were welcomed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the commissioner of Transport for London Andy Byford.
Absolutely delighted that the Elizabeth Line has opened to the public today.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 24, 2022
Long-term investment in UK infrastructure pays off – with this project alone supporting 55,000 new jobs, 1,000 apprenticeships, and forecast to boost the UK economy by £42bn. pic.twitter.com/5I3rvD0gop
“We’re all incredibly touched and moved and grateful to Her Majesty for coming to open the Elizabeth line today. It was fantastic to see her,” said Johnson.