Passengers on the Elizabeth line will be able to recharge their phones soon as USB chargers are now being fitted to the trains. They’re currently being added to the spaces between the facing seats, and it’s an ongoing process, so they’re not on all trains or had their labels applied yet, but you might be able to spy them on some trains already.

They are being added now instead of when the trains were built, as the requirement for USB charging sockets wasn’t included originally. Today, it would be a routine feature in public transport, but back in 2014, when the Elizabeth line trains were ordered, it was still a relatively rare thing to include USB chargers in the specifications.

TfL is now retrofitting trains with USB-A sockets, which is the standard currently approved for use on railways, but they could be upgraded to USB-C if the railway standards are updated in the future.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have started installing USB charging ports onto Elizabeth line trains to improve customers’ journeys and enable our customers to charge their mobile devices while making a journey. Each train will have a total of 92 USB charging ports spread throughout the train for customer use.

“It is likely that all 70 Elizabeth line trains will have the ports installed by 2025.”

As more trains are fitted, they’ll be an ideal way of topping up flagging batteries on a trip, which will be more useful as mobile phone coverage is expanded into the Elizabeth line later this year.

Across the TfL fleet, the Alstom (Class 710) trains on London Overground, which are a similar design, have USB chargers, and the new DLR trains arriving next year will also come with chargers. Newer buses also come with chargers in the back of seats.


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  1. Alex says:

    Why not USB-C? Even iPhones are now USB-C like pretty much every Android device, tablet and handheld gaming console

    • ChrisC says:

      Answered in the article!!!

      “TfL is now retrofitting trains with USB-A sockets, which is the standard currently approved for use on railways, but they could be upgraded later.”

    • Dan Coleman says:

      Because as with most things, the UK rail industry is a few years behind.

    • Jake says:

      You’re confusing the two ends of the cable.
      Whether the socket-end of the cable is USB A or C has no bearing on what the phone-end of the cable is.

      A USB-A socket such as this can and is used to charge USB-C socket phones; by using a USB-A to USB-C charging cable which is very common.

      USB-C may well be becoming the standard at the phone-end, but USB-A is still very much the king at the socket-end; all planes, trains, airports, hotels etc generally have a USB-A socket. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single USB-C socket in my life!

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