Earlier today, and a few weeks later than originally planned, the very first passenger-carrying train for the Elizabeth line (nee Crossrail) entered service.

The Class 345 trains will run along what is currently the TfL Rail line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, but these are the same trains that will soon be calling at Bond Street tube station.

Much longer than a tube train, wider and higher, and with air conditioning, when these massive trains glide into Bond Street tube station in December 2018, it’s going to revolutionise travel through the centre of London.

Today though was a chance to see one in action, and see real passengers using them at last.

From today these trains will slowly replace the older trains along the line, initially in off-peak hours only, but by Sept/Oct time, there should be 11 of these trains on the line, and running in the rush hour as well.

In total, 66 of the 9-carriage trains have been ordered, with an option for 18 more later. The first trains will initially be seven carriages and 160 metres long to fit existing platforms at Liverpool Street.

The nine carriage, 200 metre-long trains, each able to carry up to 1,500 people, will be introduced from May 2018, initially between Heathrow and Paddington.

Some pictures from the first train out of Liverpool Street.

Old and new

New digital indicator screens

Older classic tube line map

Seating arrangements


Fully walk-through trains

Roundel spotting

Leg room

At Shenfield

Displays can adapt to warn of travel problems on other lines

Very air conditioned as it happens


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Article last updated: 22 June 2021 08:51


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  1. PC says:

    Ian, I think the word “run”, after “will”, is missing from the second sentence.

    Feel free to delete this comment after you’ve read it.

  2. Ronnie says:

    Good article and pics, looking at the picture of the walk-through section between carriages, there appears to be sliding doors, I wonder if these will always stay open or close when not in use?

    Also does anyone know if the train doors open automatically or require the customer to press the door open button on arrival at a station?

    • ngh says:


      There is only 1 gangway with sliding doors at 1 end of the middle car (the rest don’t) which are there just to prevent fire spread if that ever happens so will probably only ever close under test conditions.

      Other doors open automatically in the tunneled section but button operated elsewhere, but one suspects that the driver will use the open rather than release doors button at Stratford and other busy stations too!

  3. Melvyn says:

    Was at Stratford Station today on eastbound platform when new train passed heading for Liverpool Street and so I decided to await its return … Problem was when it returned it passed through out of service…. !

  4. ADS says:

    any way of finding out when the new trains are running ?

  5. SteveP says:

    I’ve been trying to determine the schedule of the western (Paddington to Reading) services. The only document I could find indicated Reading customers would have to change at West Drayton (or near) to get to Heathrow. So that makes it a shuttle? On a spur? Not a loop? Since the HEX already runs a similar service from Paddington, my hope was that western (Reading) customers would have a better access to LHR. But who wants to schlep bags an extra time (probably up & down stairs) and wait for a connecting train. Good idea to cancel the Heathrow Connect, though. That was only used by working class people.

    It also appeared the Crossrail trains would run only a stopping service, therefore being considerably slower from Reading (Newbury) than existing FGW services. No benefit there.

    And finally, I see there are to be NO cycles on the underground western sections – so arriving by train at Paddington with a (non-folding) cycle means you can’t use Crossrail at all, at any time.

    As usual with Crassrail, there is precious little hard info available – one suspects (given the amount of PR they create) this is because they are already managing the disappointment.

    Well, I do hope the bankers in Maidenhead appreciate their swifter journey to Canary Wharf. And only a few more years of a blighted Paddington and then we can just ignore the Elizabeth Line – “Nuthin’ to do with you locals – move along”.

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