Elizabeth Line final tweaks on 22 May make getting to the Natural Stone Show + Hard Surfaces at Excel London even easier

Elizabeth Line

The Elizabeth Line Crossrail train route that joins east and west London became fully functional on 22 May, making it even easier to get to ExCeL London where the Natural Stone Show + Hard Surfaces are taking place 6-8 June.

The Elizabeth Line's full peak timetable started on 22 May, making it even easier to visit the Natural Stone Show & Hard Surfaces exhibitions at ExCeL London on 6-8 June.

The updates marked the final milestone of the Crossrail project, opened as the Elizabeth Line a year ago almost to the day, and seen as a double purple line on underground maps to differentiate it from London Underground lines. It realises all the benefits that were promised by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) as joint sponsors of the new line, including higher frequencies, greater connectivity and faster journey times.

From 22 May this year train frequencies on the line have been increased to 24 an hour between Paddington and Whitechapel at peak times – that’s a train every two and a half minutes. There are 16 an hour off-peak. The peak period also now lasts longer, increasing capacity even further.

Transport Minister Richard Holen said on 22 May: "Almost a year to the day since the Elizabeth line was first launched, it has already supported more than 150million journeys and, from today, even more people will be able to benefit from it."

Benefits include:

  • Customers from Shenfield and east London can now travel directly to Heathrow Airport for the first time, with more trains to the airport overall
  • Reduced journey times in the west for customers travelling from Reading into central London
  • The Elizabeth line has already become the one of the most used railways in the country as it continues to support new housing, jobs and economic growth.

In the east, more services at peak time run between Liverpool Street National Rail station and Gidea Park, providing a faster route for those using the Bishopsgate entrance, and in the west, there is an increase in peak services from Reading, with some trains that were previously operated by Great Western Railway transferring to the Elizabeth Line.

The removal of any significant pauses for trains outside Paddington will also bring reduced journey times for customers travelling from the west into central London. 

When the Elizabeth Line opened on 24 May 2022 there were more than 2.5million journeys made on it in the first week. Now, with journeys from the east and west running through central London, there are an average of around 3.5million Elizabeth line journeys each week.

This means that the transformational railway, which is on track to break even by the end of this financial year, has already become one of the most used railways in the country as it continues to support easier journeys and new jobs, homes and economic growth. 

TfL figures show the Elizabeth line has attracted around 140,000 additional journeys in London each weekday – and customer satisfaction is high, with the Elizabeth Line scoring 82% in TfL's latest Customer Satisfaction Survey (covering January–March this year).

It has transformed the accessibility of the transport network, with 41 step-free stations unlocking new journeys for disabled and older customers, parents with buggies and customers with luggage. 

An estimated 30% of Elizabeth Line journeys to and from Heathrow have come from those who might previously have used Heathrow Express to the airport. In the new timetable there are more frequent Elizabeth Line services to and from Heathrow with trains from Shenfield in the east now going all the way to Heathrow Terminal 5 all day.

The airport now receives six Elizabeth line trains per hour all day. All Heathrow trains stop at Terminal 2&3, with four trains per hour continuing to Terminal 4 and two per hour continuing to Terminal 5.

Tottenham Court Road has seen the largest growth in demand on the Elizabeth line since it opened, with more than 100,000 additional journeys passing through the station each day, doubling its usage. Farringdon, Whitechapel and Abbey Wood have also seen large rises in demand, again doubling or nearly doubling the number of journeys being made from these stations.

Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, said on 22 May: "A year since opening, the Elizabeth line has transformed travel across London and the South East and is now the most popular railway in the country. An incredible 3.5million journeys are made a week, as passengers enjoy the modern trains, beautiful step-free stations and reduced journey times. 

"The Elizabeth line is the most significant addition to our transport network in decades and has proven to be much more than just a new railway, providing a crucial economic boost to the whole country and playing a vital role in drawing people back on to London's public transport.

"The introduction of the final full timetable marks the completion of the Crossrail project, and I'm delighted that passengers will have even more frequent services to get them across the capital and beyond. The Elizabeth line is helping to build a better London… which is a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners."