London’s Elizabeth line reaches dress rehearsal stage ahead of 2022 launch

·2-min read

A new Tube line is in the dress rehearsal stage before opening to passengers next year, Transport for London (TfL) has said.

Londoners will be able to take the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from the first half of 2022.

The line is currently undergoing the trial stage, to ensure the safety and reliability of the railway for public use and to test the timetables.

Transport bodies and emergency services will carry out 150 scenarios over the coming months, including exercises to ensure that staff can respond to incidents including customers being unwell and signal failures.

Crossrail project
A tube map showing the Elizabeth Line in purple (Transport for London).

The most complex exercises include evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff and volunteers, before a period of “shadow running” which involves the line operating without passengers.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the trial phase marks a “significant milestone” in the delivery of the Elizabeth line, which will boost the capital’s economy.

Mr Khan added: “The next few months are crucial to making sure the railway can open safely next year, and everyone is working incredibly hard to reach that goal.

“The Elizabeth line will help transform travel in London and the South East, dramatically improving transport links, supporting regeneration and boosting our economic recovery.”

Coronavirus – Thu Nov 5, 2020
The Elizabeth line will pass through London Paddington station (Pete Clifton/PA).

The launch of the Elizabeth line was led by the Crossrail board until October 2020, when governance was transferred to TfL.

Crossrail chief executive, Mark Wild, said the line is on track to open in the first half of 2022, though an exact date has not yet been given.

He said: “This is an immensely complex railway and we must be able to demonstrate the highest levels of reliability.

“Everyone is working hard to deliver the Elizabeth line as soon as practically possible and we remain on track to commence passenger services in the first half of 2022.”

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