Elizabeth line remains on track for early 2022 opening as Trial Operations phase continues
In line with its planned opening in the first half of 2022, Transport for London is set to begin the next phase of Trial Operations on the Elizabeth line, including undertaking evacuations and simulated scenarios.
Credit: Transport for London
A milestone year for Londoners, the Elizabeth line remains set to open in the first half of 2022, as Transport for London (TfL) comes to the end of the first phase of its Trial Operations. The next phase includes large-scale exercises across the new railway – a crucial step ahead of its opening.
With new stations and travel links, the Elizabeth line will support new housing and jobs across London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex. Furthermore, the railway will reduce journey times, create additional transport capacity, improve accessibility and provide a huge economic boost to the capital and beyond.
The Trial Operations phase will involve a range of organisations, including TfL, London Underground, MTR Elizabeth line (as the operator) and Network Rail, collaborating on the response to trial scenarios along with thousands of volunteers.
Additionally, emergency services – including the British Transport Police (BTP), London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service – will also be involved by demonstrating how they would respond to incidents on the network and in stations. As a result, there will be times where police, fire and ambulance service vehicles may be seen near stations, testing and simulating what would happen in the event their staff were required to attend.
In the run up to opening the Elizabeth line, activity will be taking place on most days, including weekends. Other exercises will include responding to train, signalling, platform screen door and track simulations.
“The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and the southeast, benefitting millions and supporting hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs. Its brand new trains and step-free stations will help us to deliver a modern, truly world-class transport system that allows us to support the growth in London’s population over the coming decades. That’s why I’m delighted that it is on track to open in the first half of 2022, in what will be a landmark moment for the capital,” said the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Since May 2021, trains have been running through the tunnels to continue building up mileage and reliability ahead of the railway opening to passengers. After its opening, the Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour through the central section of the railway.
Due to the railway’s extreme complexity, the Trial Operations phase will continue until it is clear that the highest levels of safety and reliability are in place before the railway can open to customers.
Mark Wild, Crossrail’s Chief Executive, said: “The Elizabeth line is on track to open in the first half of 2022 as we continue to make progress on completing the works necessary to start passenger services in the central section of the railway, from Paddington to Abbey Wood. I’d like to thank everyone for their continued hard work and we look forward to beginning the next phase of Trial Operations exercises.”
Elizabeth line customers will benefit from spacious stations and platforms, longer trains with walk-through air-conditioned carriages, live travel information and free Wi-Fi. Progress continues to be made to also ensure that customers can enjoy 4G mobile connectivity as soon as possible. All 41 stations will also provide step-free access from street to platform.