Joy on first Elizabeth line train from Abbey Wood to Paddington

·2-min read
The queue outside Abbey Wood station on Tuesday  (Daniel Keane/Evening Standard)
The queue outside Abbey Wood station on Tuesday (Daniel Keane/Evening Standard)

Cheers erupted as about 600 passengers filed through the gates and onto the first Crossrail from Abbey Wood at 6.20am on Tuesday.

“No more waiting 40 minutes for a train,” shouted one passenger as it pulled out on time 10 minutes later.

A long queue formed around the station in south-east London just before 6am, with transport enthusiasts wearing purple T-shirts to mark the occasion.

People arrived from across the country, with many making the journey to London the night before from the north.

KD, a student union manager, travelled from Manchester and stayed in a hotel to ensure he was on the first Elizabeth line serviced.

“On a scale of one to 10 of excitement, I’d say I’m at 11,” he told the Standard as the rain came down.

“I got here at 5.50am and I hope to get on the first train but seemingly I’ve not queued for long enough.”

Len Goody, 48, drove into Abbey Wood from Maidstone early to “enjoy the fun”. “I commute to Farringdon and it gives me more options and a lot more flexibility,” he said. Pete McGarley made the journey from Sunderland the night before.

“I queued for about 45 minutes in the rain but it was worth it. It’s lucky I had a hotel booked just around the corner.”

Nick, a designer from Abbey Wood, was getting the train to Paddington to have breakfast before work.

“I’ve never seen so many people in Abbey Wood. The population here has doubled overnight, it’s amazing to see,” he said. “Getting to central London in 30 minutes is a game changer.”

Paul Parsons, customer experience director at Crossrail, said the morning service from Abbey Wood had gone “fantastically well”.

“Every service has gone out on time since 6.30am and drivers are doing a fantastic job welcoming passengers on. You can see this is going to change people’s travel.”

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