The Elizabeth line’s core tunnels through central London opened at 6:30am this morning, and by 10am, some 65,000 had taken a trip on London’s newest railway.
Yes, the first couple of trains out of Abbey Wood and Paddington were packed with train fans, but they swiftly started exploring the stations, and by 8am, the trains were mostly filled with commuters making use of the new railway to get to work.
The impact of the core tunnels is even more evident through TfL’s figures for the entire Elizabeth line including the former TfL Rail services out to Reading and Shenfield, which came to around 130,000 journeys.
So about half of the Elizabeth line traffic is in the central stations.
TfL’s figures show that the new Paddington station had already seen 14,000 entries and exits by 10am, while the new Canary Wharf station has already seen 9,000 entries and exits. Even the station that was added after the line was authorised, at Woolwich saw some 6,000 entries and exits by 10am, buoyed by being in a largely residential area that has a lot of people previously using the DLR to get to Canary Wharf.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “It was fantastic to see thousands of excited customers waiting for the Elizabeth line to open this morning and board the first trains from Paddington and Abbey Wood. Tens of thousands of journeys have already been made on the new central section of the Elizabeth line since it opened this morning. This stunning addition to the transport network will transform life and travel in London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, adding capacity, transforming accessibility and supporting the economic recovery and growth throughout the country for years to come.”