If you want to try it out, a small part of an Elizabeth line station is now open to use, at Farringdon station.
The main set of escalators down to the Elizabeth line at Farringdon station are on the northbound Thameslink side of the station. A small set of escalators links them to the new ticket hall. However, there’s also a side passage to the Thameslink platforms for easy connection between the two lines.
So TfL, who is now managing the station since it was handed over by Crossrail have decided to open up that small section early so that Thameslink passengers can make early use of the escalators. In the age of social distancing, it adds extra capacity to the station for passengers, which is always a good thing.
The route down to the Elizabeth line platforms remained sealed off, but this route does give people a chance to see some of the new station through the gate and windows, and see the artwork that’s been installed down here.
The sloping ceiling has a concrete diamond pattern, which is purely decorative as a flat concrete ceiling would look awkward on this site.
There’s minimal downlighting though, as the main illuminations come from the handrails and the backlit panels. The artwork on the walls is Avalanche by Simon Periton, which features a giant piece of tracery of diamonds that appear to tumble down and around the escalators. Painted onto the glass panels, the diamonds are a nod to the local Hatton Garden’s jewellers.
It’s now less than a year until the main core of the Elizabeth line opens, but at least people can use a bit of the new Farringdon station built for the line today and get a glimpse of what’s coming.