A letter sent to local politicians has confirmed that Crossrail plans to launch a rail service between Paddington and Reading in December this year.

Although the new senior management are still working out what a likely opening date will be for the main core tunnels, there has been a general expectation that the Paddington to Reading line could open sooner.

What will be known as the Earliest Opening Programme, with a range of possible opening dates for the core tunnels will be announced in the next few weeks.

However, subject to agreements with the other train operators and Network Rail, the Paddington to Reading service, using the Elizabeth line’s Class 345 trains should start in December 2019, running to the Paddington mainline platforms.

The service will be branded TfL Rail and will compliment the existing TfL Rail branded service running between Hayes & Harlington and Paddington.

When the Elizabeth line eventually opens, the trains will start to use the new underground platforms being built next to the mainline station.

The letter was published by the leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council, Simon Dudley on his Twitter account.


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  1. Jabba says:

    There is already a Paddington to Reading service…cannablizing those existing services must be progress in someone’s dimented view. Everything in London is such a pathetic and pointless debacle.

  2. David Keeley says:

    Opening by December is very optimistic went by Paddington yesterday, there is still an awful lot of work to do. Possibly it could be finished by December but then there would be all the snagging to do

    • Si says:

      The Paddington this service is going to has been ready since 1854. It’s just a transfer from GWR of the existing Paddington to Reading stopper service.

  3. Abbey Wood resident says:

    What about the residents of SE London who were expecting Crossrail last year and may have to wait until 2020 at the earliest now. How much will commuters have to pay for the delay on their season tickets. It is a very expensive project that has so far failed to deliver

    • Mike says:

      It’s not just the residents of SE London that will use this service, by the way Abbey wood is in Kent not London.
      People from Kent are the most hit in season ticket prices, so we use to empty promises and poor service. Just another empty promises of a good service on paper. What a waste of money, where all the money could gone on the existing services.

    • Si says:

      This is happening as TfL’s finances planned to have the big cash-cow of Thames Valley commuters’ fares from Dec ’19 and this is so that they can, at least, have a bit of that action.

      If it wasn’t happening, the financial shortfall would have to be made up out by further delaying the opening of the Crossrail core. Or London taxpayers picking up the pieces.

  4. Si says:


    There’s nothing wrong with saying Abbey Wood is in London – because it is by many legitimate measures (region, urban area, ceremonial county, etc). Even pre-creation of Greater London, the station was on the boundary of the County of London and Kent County Council’s domain.

    I’d be likewise annoyed if someone was correcting you by insisting that Abbey Wood was in London not Kent – because it is by legitimate measures (never abolished historic counties, what residents say, etc). There’s many legitimate geographical descriptors, and they aren’t mutually exclusive.

  5. Nick says:

    Any idea how much this service will cost once fully implemented? Similar to the current rail service between Reading and Paddington? Or would this count as an additional “zone” and be priced as such?

    • Adam says:

      It would be a “special fare” like travelling to Gatwick Airport or Watford Junction

  6. Brian Bell says:

    A correspondent says there is already a Paddington to Reading train service. The TfL Rail introduction will have the benefit of being able to use some of the many brand new class 345 trains currently stored at Old Oak Common, which in turn will allow some of the existing services to be withdrawn and the trains from them can be used on the various other projects for which they were earmarked. I dare say there may also be some staff who were recruited for the originally expected opening day, who can be more usefully employed actually operating a train service.

  7. Ari says:

    Mike, Abbey Wood is in SE London within the Borough of Bexley and Greenwich. It’s not in Kent.

  8. Rog Laker says:

    Main story, 5th paragraph: ‘complement’ please.

  9. Slough-ite says:

    So we’ve got 7-8 months for all those platforms to be extended to fit the massive new trains. Slough has only just been able to fit the 8 carriage trains, let alone 12. AFAIK, west of Hayes, only Reading is big enough. So much work to be done.

  10. David Troy says:

    There is life outside London…

    How about Electrification of the East Coast beyond Doncaster towards Hull for example? Hull is a vital part of the Northern Powerhouse (which most people think is based in Birmingham), but yet lacks basic Electric Distribution on its lines to London….

    For the record, I don’t live in Hull…. Or London

    • Melvyn says:

      You could have had electrification using gold overhead wires but citizens chose to spend it on black hole of no deal Brexit preparations!

    • Peter says:

      They have probably watched closely how the electrification to Bristol has gone. Or not gone, until very recently. And this is a separate issue to Crossrail – as I think I have said on here before we should not be arguing which is more important but recognising both these – and other – projects are all important.

  11. Melvyn says:

    December 2019 was the planned date to transfer services to Reading to TFL so this is on time delivery.

    Fares to stations within Greater London will reduce in line with Mayor Khans fares freeze as occurred when other servwere transferred to TFL .

  12. John Woods says:

    And the Crossrail trains have been running between Liverpool Street and Shenfield for months now- admittedly on existing tracks at the London end.

    Plus we now learn that Shakespeare lived fairly near Liverpool Street- very handy for trips into Essex !!

  13. Geoff Allen says:

    Will the new trains be able to stop at Hanwell and West Ealing on a Sunday??

    TfL don’t seem to be able at the moment to stop the Heathrow Connect trains which run through the stations twice an hour on a Sunday.
    Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that they manage it the other 6 days of the week?

  14. Mike Roberts says:

    Tfl runs the service previously known as Heathrow Connect.

  15. E J says:

    Will Oyster card be available from Slough when Crossrail starts?

  16. E J says:

    Will Oyster card be available from Slough when Crossrail starts?

  17. BF1991 says:

    Its is about 3 months until the launch of the crossrail from Reading to London. GWR are currently developing a new timetable including removing services from some stations as these will be operated by Crossrail
    BUT Its slightly concerning as there seems to be no information as yet from Crossrail on timetables or ticket prices. When will this information be launched?

    • DidcotBob says:

      I agree, matching the fares (as announced) in Zones 1-6 leaves a big undefined gap Reading-Iver. Currently I wish to travel from Didcot to Ealing Broadway from Didcot on a stopper and switch to the tube using a senior railcard. It is not clear how much more expensive it will being forced to change to Crosssrail at Reading. Will I be able to contactless on at reading and off when I get off the tube in London from Ealing Broadway or will it be two journeys?

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