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.”

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8 comments
  1. Bones says:

    Any figures on usage of other lines? eg numbers down on jubilee line?

  2. Julian says:

    Experience shows that, when a new line opens and siphons passengers off other lines, those lines often return to their former numbers in a few years. Much of the purpose of the Elizabeth Line is to relieve other lines (notably the Central and Jubilee) and add capacity for future growth. This is a railway for the next 100 years and should not be judged by its immediate impact on other lines.

  3. Uche Mick Chinonso says:

    I could infer some forecasts: people stayed away even after lockdown ended because they already remember pre-pandemic overcrowding. Thanks to Elizabeth Line, not only will those passengers want to experience the benefits, but the Central and Jubilee Lines will enjoy a drop in overcrowding.

    • ChrisC says:

      Will affect lots of lines.

      Last month I did Brighton-Blackfriars on Thames link then District and DLR to LCY.

      Next month I’ll switch at Farringdon to Lizzie to Woolwich then the DLR.

      Friend of mine will now get the overground to Whitechapel and switch thereto get to Heathrow rather than his current complicated route

      Lizzie will have an impact on all lines plus the trains as well but of course some lines will have a bigger one than others.

  4. ChrisC says:

    I’m sure the TfL data team will be crunching the numbers over the next few weeks and months and years to see what impact it has had.

    They have a huge amount of data on trips (personalised for a short period then just A-B)

    They’ll probably find a number of people switched to Lizzie initially but then back to their original trip because it didn’t really provide them with any benefit when the total trip is considered.

    Saving a few minutes on the travel time might be outweighed by longer walks to get to the platforms etc.

  5. JP says:

    And another thing:
    Where’s all the little updated station interchange stickers on the in-carriage tube maps to?
    A nice little job for some weekend staff to correct the thousands of outdated line diagrams/maps. Should keep em going for a while.

  6. Nigel Headley says:

    I don’t want to sound like a spoilsport but at a time when TFL is strapped for cash, how come the freedom pass is going to be valid on the entire network? Getting free travel to Reading is hardly what London should be having to shoulder. London’s freedom pass should not be used for transit to Wales and the west country! They’ve missed a trick here.

  7. Chris Rogers says:

    Yes I noticed (or rather didn’t) that in my week. Odd as they should have been done. Not like they’ve not had time! And whust I was one of those journey-makers on opening day it wouldnt have shown as I just nipped from TCR where Id not left the station to Farringdn and back, just to say I had, before exiting TCR and going to work. It was I must say impressive even a bit eerie – to nip down a stairway in a station I’ve used for 45 years to find this vast, white, quiet sci-fi other world

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