The Elizabeth Line is Coming

So, the official line from TfL is still that the Elizabeth Line will open in the first half of 2022.  We’re 4 months in already, so that just leaves May or June.  I’m going to be bold and put my prediction out there (and probably fall flat on my face as a result).  I’m going for Monday 16th May.

There’s not been much communication from TfL recently, which I read as good news.  I think the line is actually ready right now, but election purdah rules state that you can’t do anything that might influence voters in the weeks leading up to a vote.  As all the London Boroughs are electing all their councillors this is a big thing in London.  TfL will want a big opening do on the first day with both the Mayor (Sadiq Khan) and the Transport Secretary (Grant Shapps) in attendance.  There will need to be some time for final preparations so I expect an announcement sometime between Friday 6th and Monday 9th.

There are a few other clues out there, including some bus changes that are due to roll out on the 16th, as well as the fact that that is the start of the summer National Rail timetable.  The new bit (Abbey Wood to Paddington) is self contained though, so that may not be as important as all that.  Finally I believe TfL will want the line open in good time for the Jubilee weekend at the beginning of June.  These are just my thoughts, I may well be spectacularly wrong, but I wouldn’t put anything important in the diary for that day if you want to be there.

Other Implications

Fares to and from the Elizabeth line stations are already shown on TfL’s single fare finder (with a note saying they are for information only). I have deliberately not included them on my fare finder as I considered it to be confusing.  They’ll be switched on as soon as the line opens.  On the same day there will also be a number of new out-of-station-interchanges.  I’m still waiting for confirmation, but I expect links for Woolwich to Woolwich Arsenal; Custom House to the DLR; Canary Wharf to the DLR and Jubilee line, as well as West India Quay DLR and possibly Poplar DLR; and some internal links within Liverpool Street and Paddington.  There’s also a new one between Bond Street and Oxford Circus, but that won’t be needed until Bond Street EL opens.

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