Sunday night saw a first, as an Elizabeth line train entered the Crossrail tunnels under its own electric power for the first time.

The train was previously hauled through the tunnel to Abbey Wood in October 2017 using a locomotive. Sunday’s live test is the first of hundreds of live test runs that will take place throughout the year.

The new train was the first to be driven from Abbey Wood and entered the new tunnels at Plumstead Portal, traveling under the Thames heading for Connaught Tunnel before returning to Abbey Wood station.

Intensive testing of the railway and signalling will now begin to ensure services are ready for the opening in December his year. One train will initially be used for testing in the tunnels before more are gradually introduced.

Earlier this month, Crossrail successfully activated the 25kV overhead lines in a section of the tunnels beneath the streets of London, a landmark moment that ensured this first journey could take place.

A significant amount of work continues to complete all stations on the route as well as bringing together the complicated interfaces between track, power, signalling and trains.

The Elizabeth line is due to open this coming December.


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  1. Nigel Headley says:

    Has anyone seen a running schedule yet? Is it going to be like the tube with trains pulling up every few minutes or like waiting for platform announcements at London above ground termini such as Waterloo while they clear the panther from the line at clapham junction?! Nigel

    • Mark says:

      Depends which platform you’re standing on, at Reading you might wait 30 mins, at Tottenham Court Road only 2.5 mins.

    • Jimbo says:

      The Elizabeth Line timetable has not yet been confirmed, but the basics for the peak service are as follows –

      – 24 tph through the core section
      – 12 tph to Shenfield
      – 12 tph to Abbey Wood
      – 12 tph from the east terminating at Paddington
      – 4 tph to Heathrow T4
      – 2 tph to Heathrow T5
      – 6 tph to Maidenhead, including
      – 4 tph to Reading

      So the type of service will depend on where you are. This is more like the Metropolitan line type service (lots in the core, fewer at the ends of branches), rather than a Victoria line type service (lots at all stations).

  2. John Barcy says:

    Congratulations to all the staff in boots on the ground for the fantastic job.

  3. Andrew Gwilt says:

    10 months to go!! Is anyone excited!!

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