The Elizabeth line trains running through the core tunnels averaged service reliability of 97.8 per cent over the first five days of service, with 100 per cent delivered for three of those five days.

This was confirmed in a monthly letter from the Elizabeth line’s Director, Howard Smith to the chair of the GLA’s Transport Committee, Sian Berry AM

Overall, TfL Rail / Elizabeth line delivered a Public Performance Measure of 95.1 per cent during Period 2 (1 – 28 May 2022). Performance in the east was 95.9 per cent during period 2 whilst the west was 93.3 per cent. The overall Moving Annual Average trend for May was recorded at 94 per cent.

Although the central core of the Elizabeth line is currently running Mon-Sat and closed on Sundays, Howard Smith also confirmed that there will be two more weekends where the line closes on both Saturday and Sunday. These full weekend closures will be on 30th-31st July and 29th-30th October.

The reason given is that using some full weekend closures they will be able to open the next phase of the Elizabeth line sooner in the Autumn.

This next phase will see the Abbey Wood to Paddington service extended to run out to Heathrow and Reading — and the Shenfield to Liverpool Street service will be extended to Paddington. That’ll mean services in the central core tunnels between Paddington and Liverpool Street will rise from 12 trains per hour to 22 trains per hour during the peak, and 16 trains per hour off-peak.

It may be reading too much into it, but a final weekend closure at the end of October could imply the next phase of the line opening the following week.

Ahead of that though, a successful timetable trial for 20 trains per hour was undertaken on 1 May 2022. They seem to still be having problems with the transition between different signalling systems at Stratford though, and the engineers are still working on fixing that.

The full Elizabeth line timetable with up to 24 trains per hour at peak between Paddington and Whitechapel and 20 trains per hour off-peak is planned for May 2023 – which is when the Elizabeth line will be formally completed.

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12 comments
  1. ChrisC says:

    Reliability at these rates is only achieved because of the months and months of testing that occurred that allowed problems to be identified and solved.

    If that testing – which people complained about – hadn’t as been as extensive those very same people would be complaining about unreliable trains!

  2. Ariel says:

    How does this stack up against other lines? And other cities?

  3. Uche Mick Chinonso says:

    Let’s be honest: so many creaks were uncovered during construction that we should have acknowledged sooner. British Rail was underfunded and under to a point where signalling systems in the UK are 30 years out of date, which explains the poor reliability of National Rail services verses London Tube and Rail services.

  4. Adam says:

    I’ve been using it now to get from Dartford to Chiswick, it’s just a shame I have to rely on Thameslink and Southeastern to get to Abbey Wood! Signal problems at London Bridge compounded yesterday with a lack of train crew on Thameslink meant waiting at Abbey Wood for 50 minutes last night!

    • Jeremy says:

      You’re right, Adam. I’ve also used the EL when travelling from Dartford (changing at Abbey Wood). It’s great going up to London as there is a (EL) train at Abbey Wood every five minutes; coming back towards Dartford however is risky as the Dartford-bound trains are 4 mins and 26 mins apart so if you just miss one, potentially you are waiting at Abbey Wood for up to 26 minutes – it rather negates the gain of the fast run on the EL (and that assumes T/L and SE are running perfectly, as highlighted in your case)!

  5. Scott Peacock says:

    Started using the Elizabeth line from week one from my Connection from Thameslink at Farringdon to get to Tottenham Court Road to change for the Northern line to Leicester Square, Elizabeth line is quick and very reliable.

  6. Matthew says:

    As one would expect for an isolated system that has just been built with automated signalling and had all timetable pressure for testing removed because of a pendulum swing towards ‘each bit when it’s ready’ after earlier over-optimism.

    I think it’s time to stop talking about the EL in isolation. It’s great but it’s part of a system. The reliability on (speaking selfishly) the District line is terrible and the 4L signalling upgrades have slipped to the point where there isn’t even a public timetable for them, over the same period in which Crossrail has had completion funding protected. Not saying that was the wrong prioritisation, but lots of us don’t benefit from the EL and to me there’s a missing bit of this story about what has happened to the 95% while there’s been so much media about the 5%.

  7. Nigel Headley says:

    At a time of severe budgetary deficiency and debt, I’m very curious as to why TFL elected to make the entire network covered by the Freedom pass. I don’t believe any of us expected it to extend beyond the current radius. For most of us from now on, all journeys to the west will begin at Reading!

  8. JohnC says:

    TFL is legally obliged to accept the Freedom Pass on all its services. Of course it was not envisaged at the time that one day TFL services would stretch to Reading.

  9. Anthony Skinner says:

    I am not quite sure that you are correct, that may be true for all buses. But for trains out of London passes are not valid on them in London at all. Free Local train services are usually limited to the passes issued in that locality. The freedom pass is a london bus pass with extras. The residents of Windsor will not normally be allowed on the trains.

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