Earlier this week, the Elizabeth line marked one year since it started direct services through central London from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield, and has now carried over 250 million passengers since it opened in May 2022.
When it first opened, the Elizabeth line had effectively been three separate services running six days a week:
- Abbey Wood to Paddington
- Reading/Heathrow to Paddington
- Shenfield to Liverpool Street
On 6th November 2022, the three became one, and also started opening on Sundays, doubling the number of trains per hour in the core and seeing a surge in passenger numbers.
A year on from that, the railway now carries around 4.3 million passenger journeys each week, making it the busiest railway in Great Britain.
The busiest single day on the Elizabeth line since it opened was this week, although that was boosted by the one-off surge caused by the DLR strike. On Tuesday 7th November 2023, some 758,000 journeys were made as the Elizabeth line picked up DLR passengers and carried people to a large trade show at the ExCel conference centre.
According to TfL analysis, some of the most popular through-running journeys are between Hayes & Harlington and Tottenham Court Road, Romford and Farringdon, Stratford and Tottenham Court Road and Ealing Broadway and Bond Street, showing the growth in areas in outer London and beyond driven by the Elizabeth line.
The Elizabeth line station at Bond Street also celebrated one year of providing a new gateway to the West End for Londoners, visitors and businesses on 24th October. There are now 250,000 journeys through Bond Street station each day on average, compared with 175,000 journeys per day before the opening of the Elizabeth line.
Work to provide 4G coverage on the Elizabeth line continues. Bond Street will be one of the first stations along the route to benefit from mobile coverage along with Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Liverpool Street stations, which will be live by the end of this year. All stations and tunnelled sections along the Elizabeth line are expected have 4G coverage by the end of Spring 2024.
London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord, said: “It’s been amazing to see the Elizabeth line’s popularity grow since opening last year and offering more direct journeys. A year on from offering through journeys into central London without the need to change trains, it is also encouraging to see how many people have been able to make use of the improved transport connections.
“Bond Street station’s Elizabeth line connection and step-free access has further opened up the West End and also attracted more people to the area’s cultural venues, attractions and shops. Development in the area around the station has also been rapid, supporting new jobs, opportunities and economic growth. The Elizabeth line, and Bond Street, have been huge success stories, which clearly demonstrate the power of investing in transport for both the capital and wider economy. Many of the contractors and suppliers for the railway were also based in areas outside London and across the UK – supporting thousands of jobs across the country.”
The Elizabeth line is on target to break even in operating costs in the year 2023/24.