More than one million journeys made on central section of Elizabeth line

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More than one million journeys made on central section of Elizabeth line

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ore than one million journeys have been made on the central section of the Elizabeth line since it opened, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.

The £19bn line finally opened in London between Paddington and Abbey Wood last Tuesday, a week before the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

Frenzied rail enthusiasts queued from midnight in the cold and rain at Paddington to be on board when the historic first service departed at 6.33am.

TfL said the central section had seen more than one million journeys in the first five days since it began operating.

It added that more than two million trips had been made across the whole line, which stretches from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “proud to see the roaring success” of the line after it reached the major milestone.

The new service means that journey times between Abbey Wood and Paddington have been cut by almost half to approximately 29 minutes. Meanwhile, trips between Farringdon and Canary Wharf will now take around 10 minutes, instead of 24.

Mr Khan said: “I’ve been blown away by this fantastic new line, it’s fit for a Queen, with spacious and speedy trains and stunning stations.

“The Elizabeth line will revolutionise travel across London and will boost rail capacity in central London by 10 per cent, the largest single increase for more than 70 years.

“The Elizabeth line is bringing an economic boost as we continue to recover from the pandemic, tempting more people back to offices and businesses in the heart of our city.”

Crowds wait in line to board the first Elizabeth line train to carry passengers at Paddington

/ PA Wire

Howard Smith, TfL’s director of the Elizabeth line, said the service had received “a great reception” with hundreds of thousands of customers flocking to it each day.

He added: “It is already having a transformative impact on local businesses and opening up access to new areas of London.”

Financial centres in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf, business and events hubs in the east including the Royal Docks along with London’s cultural and creative region in the West End are connected by the line.

Laura Citron, the chief executive of London & Partners business growth agency, believes the line “fundamentally changes London’s economic geography”.

She added: “We know that London’s growth has been driven by the breadth of our offer, commerce, culture, and government all in one place, and now, all on one green, accessible, and very beautiful train line.”

Queen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque to mark the Elizabeth line’s official opening at Paddington station (Andrew Matthews/PA)

/ PA Wire

The Elizabeth line is initially operating in three separate sections, which are expected to be integrated in the autumn.