Crossrail: Elizabeth line confirmed to open on 24 May

Image source, SOPA/Getty Images
Image caption,
The Elizabeth line will open nearly three-and-a-half years late

London's delayed and over-budget Crossrail project will open this month, it has been confirmed.

The Elizabeth line has received final authorisation from the rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

All of the stations - apart from Bond Street, which will open later - have been approved as suitable for full passenger use.

The ORR has also authorised the overall routeway for the line's track and tunnel infrastructure.

The Abbey Wood to Paddington section will open to passengers on 24 May, although initially trains will not run on Sundays or call at Bond Street.

The new railway will cut times when crossing the capital, with Paddington to Canary Wharf taking just 18 minutes.

Image source, TfL

The journey time from Abbey Wood in south-east London to Paddington will be cut by almost half - to 29 minutes.

Travel times between Liverpool Street and Woolwich will also be halved to 15 minutes, while a trip between Farringdon and Canary Wharf, which currently takes 24 minutes, will last 10 minutes.

However, passengers wishing to travel the length of the line will still need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street, depending on their destination, until next year.

Although a special service will be in place for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, Transport for London (TfL) has said trains would not initially run on Sundays "to allow a series of testing and software updates".

Image caption,
Crossrail trains have been tested throughout 2022

Construction of Crossrail began at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009, with tunnelling work starting in May 2012.

The project had an original budget of £14.8bn, but the government pledged an extra £4bn to help get it open.

Services which are already running in the east and west sections will continue to operate every day, but they will be rebranded from TfL Rail to the Elizabeth line from 24 May.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Construction of Crossrail began at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009

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