On the second anniversary of the Elizabeth line’s opening, TfL revealed that it had carried more than 350 million journeys since opening on 24th May 2022.

Opening Bond Street station (c) ianVisits

During its first full year of operation, the Elizabeth line saw more than 150 million passenger journeys. In 2023/24, this number dramatically increased to 210 million journeys. On average, the line handles around 700,000 passenger journeys every weekday, with the busiest day recorded on 18th April 2024, when there were 787,000 journeys across the line.

The busiest station is Tottenham Court Road, followed by Liverpool Street.

In addition, passenger demand is already above post-pandemic expectations, and TfL expects passenger journeys to increase by another 8% over the next year, reaching 226 million.

Since the Elizabeth line opened, the highest demand growth on the line has been between Reading and Hayes & Harlington, which has seen an 80% increase in demand on TfL services, while demand to Heathrow terminals has increased by 64%, since through-running services were introduced in November 2022.

Quite a few central stations are also now seeing more passengers tapping in/out (excluding interchanges) than before the pandemic, indicating that the stations are attracting people to catch the two year old service.

The railway has also helped to drive regeneration along the length of the route. It has directly impacted the development and delivery of 55,000 new homes, with further potential to deliver 15,000 new homes and 8,000 jobs.

The opening day (c) ianVisits

Howard Smith, TfL’s Director of the Elizabeth line, said: “The Elizabeth line has rightly and quickly become one of the most popular railways in the country. It has also been one of the most reliable, and earlier this year we achieved our best quarterly performance so far. The Elizabeth line continues to be transformational for people travelling across London and the South East. The huge numbers of customers using our accessible trains and stations is a real testament to the importance of the railway investment and to all those involved in keeping it running.”

There have been problems since it opened, mainly on the western branch where the line is shared with Network Rail, but there has been a marked decline in recent months after Network Rail agreed to focus on repairing the problems.

The problems are also magnified in part by the railway’s sheer success — when a railway carries a lot of people, when there’s a problem, there’s a lot more people to complain about the problems.

Last year, the Elizabeth line’s punctuality declined to second place, having previously been the best in the UK. The Office of Road and Rail will release its latest report covering the first quarter of this year at the end of this month, which should include some of the recent rail upgrades, and we can see if they’re having an effect yet.

However, two years after it opened, the Elizabeth line has undeniably made a huge difference to Londoners, not just those who use it but all the people getting onto services that run parallel to it, who now have a bit more space to breathe on previously packed trains.

Elizabeth line train at Stratford station (c) ianVisits


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  1. CB says:

    The higher ups really need to start giving Acton Main Line, West Ealing and Hanwell more TPH during rush hour.

    Trying to get on trains that all originate from Heathrow during rush hour is a frustrating task seeing as so much floor space is taken up with luggage. If you cannot get on one, you have to wait at least 15 minutes for the next one that may or may not also be packed.

    • Ranger says:

      I agree. Rush hour out of the central section is just as bad. 20 minute wait (instead of the standard 15), and only trains to Reading/Maidenhead in between, with 3 terminating at Paddington. So no Acton, West Ealing, Hanwell or Southall train for 20 minutes. It’s impossible to get on at Paddington.
      We need what the East has. Every train stops at every station.

  2. Anton says:

    Heathrow Express takes up valuable platform space and train paths out of Paddington. Train paths that could allow for more trains not only to Heathrow but across southwest england. A service that is barely used when compared to the Elizabeth Line and other services. Hopefully the franchise will be stopped to make space for more “normal” services.

    From memory, London Reconnections ran an interesting and detailed article last year on the future of the Heathrow Express, and the platform space and train paths it takes up at the expense of other services.

    • keith barber says:

      the Heathrow express needs to stop charging such extortionate fares and be brought into the t.f.l fares structure and ran to complelment not compete with the elizabeth line

    • ChrisC says:


      The HEX is a private operater (owned by the airport) and can charge whatever fares it likes. It’s fares aren’t controlled by the Government.

      If you don’t like the HEX fares then don’t use it.

      It’s not going to be brought into the TFL fare structure. There will always be a premium charged because the aiport is permitted to charge TFL for using its assets.

      HEX was there before Lizzie. The airport paid for all the track and tunnels and platforms.

      There are already more Lizzie services to the airport than HEX so it’s already complementing the services

  3. Matarredonda says:

    350 million in two years. Would love to know what the original projections were.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    The success of the Elizabeth line proves the absolute need to get on with detailed planning of the North-East – South West line better called Kings Line tunneling from Clapham Junction under Kings Road – Victoria – Leicester Square – Kings Cross Hackney with three branches in North East – Chingford -Cheshunt (2 Ways) and three in Southwest – 1 Shepperton via Kingston -2 Hampton Court and 3 Staines via Richmond. Detailed planning would enable Acts of Parliament to be passed and work started and hopefully finished in reign of King Charles III before King William IV. Unless started NOW it could be into George VII time. Remember that Elizabeth Line opening was one of the last acts of our beloved Queen

  5. mikey says:

    Do you mean 350 million passengers carried, or journeys by the train? I think that amount of journeys would be difficult to fit in to 2 years.

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