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Saturday 11 June 2022

My Review On London's Elizebeth Tube Line

 Welcome to my train report on London's newest tube line - the Elizebeth line! 

The train shares the same track with the Heathrow Express from Terminal 2 and 3 to Terminal 5. This sector is free of charge for all travelers, you still need to use a valid travel card to travel between these 2 stations, just that your card (non-concession) will not be deducted. 

The map of Elizebeth's line 

There are 2 main stations which require a change of platform, Liverpool Street and Paddington. *Do take note*

How did this line come about? 

It all started in 2001, about 21 years ago. Cross London Rail (Links) had a joint venture between Transport for London and the Department for Transport to develop the Crossrail scheme and in the next few years, they spent time promoting the possible locations for the train stations. In 2005, the planning of routes was submitted to the respective councils which also involves towns and cities outside of London. In 2008, after years of planning, the construction to build this line was approved by the Crossrail act 2008.TLF (Transport of London) and DFT (Department of Transport) signed the "Crossrail Sponsors" agreement to proceed with the funding to build the massive new train line which is estimated to cost around 15.9 million pounds. Of course, others also contribute to this massive project, such as Network Rail, BAA, and the City of London. 

Work began in 2009 and the construction of the railway tunnels was completed in June 2015. The tracks which also needed to install the signaling system took another 2 years and by the winter of 2017-2018, tests were done to ensure that things were running according to plan. However, the construction of the train line had its problems as the completion was delayed due to issues that took a while longer to solve. Finally, the issues were solved and trial tests were done in May 2021, to ensure that everything was prepared for the official launch of the line a year later. 

This Elizebeth line was named after Queen Elizebeth who officially opened the line on 17 May and on 24 May, the line was opened for passengers service. 

My first ride on this train took place on the 26 of May and now I should share with you my thoughts on my experience. 
Interior of the train 

The day I took the train, it wasn't crowded so I manage to snap a lot of photos. 

Many passengers had happy faces on their faces. 

Disembarking at one of the airport terminal stations. 

My first ride on this line started at this station. 

With a mixture of backward/forward and side facing seats, the wider cabin allows more capacity which helps ease the load of other lines especially the Piccadilly line.

What do you think? Feel like to leave your comments below. 

My thoughts

The introduction of the Elizebeth line has offered an alternate route to town area and depending on which part, it cuts the travelling time from London Heathrow airport to the city area. Comparing with the Piccadilly line, it deploys more modern trains featuring bigger cabin which can load more passengers. I used this train numerous number of times and find it to be more comfortable than the other trains. Of course it has its cons and that is having to change train at Paddington or Liverpool St which can be inconvenient especially if you travel from Shenfield to Heathrow for example, this requires you to change twice at Liverpool St and Paddington. The tube fare isn't cheap especially if you are doing multi one-ways and I do recommend getting the travel day passes if you have to visit many places on the same day or few days. I am absolutely thrilled with this line and will definitely use it more frequently whenever I can. 


The heathrow airport line, however, you need to take them from Paddington station at either platform 11 or 12. So if you are coming in from Abbey Wood, Shenfield and Reading, the trains from these locations would terminate at Paddington, and you need to walk to the main platform (Photo below) where the other trains would head to other cities. Don't get yourself confused with the trains, there is also Heathrow Express that takes you to London and it cost 25 pounds. So if you are in a hurry, you can take the Heathrow Express otherwise, take the Elizebeth line but do watch out for the destination of the train as there are 3 destinations the trains can terminate, Terminal 2 and 3, Terminal 5 and Reading.

From Liverpool St station to catch the Elizebeth line to Shenfield, go to platform 15 to 17. For the rest of the destinations, follow the sign leading to the underground. 

This is Liverpool Street Station 

This is Paddington Station, the Elizebeth line is located at the right hand corner of the station (Based below) - Platform 11 and 12 (Near to the Beer Garden bar) 

I took the train near my sister's place, the incovenient part is having to change the train at Paddington station. So from Tower Hill station, I would stick to Piccadilly line to the airport. 

For those underground stations, they are covered up with the station fully air condition. 

The modern looking station 

Each train has around 9 cars which can comfortably cope with the load so far from my observation.

This is the Paddington Station. 

This is where I took the train at Paddington. The ride to the airport took around half an hour. 

Picadilly line (An alternative) 

Trains from Action town to London Heathrow 1,2,3 and 4 takes around 30-40 minutes depends on traffic. The trains are showing its sign of age but are great workhorses. 

I recommend getting either the oyster pass or the day travel passes if you intend to visit a lot of places. The latter would be better as it saves you a lot of $$ as transport in London is considered quite expensive. 

(Photo credit: Metro.co.uk)

One day fare cap on TfL services - including the Elizabeth Line

Zone 1 £7.70

Zones 1 & 2 £7.70

Zones 1-3 £9.00

Zones 1-4 £11.00

Zones 1-5 £13.10

Zones 1-6 £14.10

Take note of the following (From TTL's website) 

Fares and ticketing

  • Customers need to touch out at Paddington and Liverpool Street to change for trains towards Reading, Heathrow or Shenfield, although daily and weekly price capping applies
  • Contactless pay as you go is accepted throughout the Elizabeth line
  • Oyster pay as you go and valid Travelcards are accepted but not west of West Drayton
  • Customers using Oyster to pay as you go who want to travel to or from stations beyond West Drayton will need to use contactless instead or buy a paper ticket
  • TfL concessions are accepted
  • Customers with a Railcard discount set on their Oyster card benefit from 1/3 off off-peak pay as you go fares

London tube is one of the most popular train systems in the world and you can see why with such a massive network, it took many hard work and years to build a system like this. Many of the old lines tend to have issues, but let's not forget about the effort putting in to maintain them is not easy and furthermore, there isn't much they can do to upgrade some of the stations as if that will affect the residential and commercial areas which can cost far more money, making it financially uneconomical. The Elizebeth line has definitely added more convenience especially with a 2nd line to the airport. I will definitely take it more regularly especially when I need to rush to town. The trains are more comfortable, lesser downtime due to newer tracks and trains. 

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy this short review. 

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