Elizabeth Line and some additional bits about Transport for London

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I rode a very short part of this new line twice 2 days before it was 'officially' opened by the Queen yesterday and have a couple of poor quality photos, anyone interested?

We crammed a week's worth of doing things while back in the UK into 3 days and now back completely knackered with again much to do. I'll be happy to upload the photos by the end of the week if any interest.

Be warned though, the trains look to my inexperienced eye very very similar to many others running on this line but were obviously new or seriously refurbished. Pretty and subtle colour scheme though.
 

Deni

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Cool! How did you get to ride on it? Was there some sort of "soft opening?"
 

jis

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Here are the details from the proverbial horse's mouth...


Incidentally, the Class 345s have been running on overground service associated with the overall Elizabeth Line project since sometime in 2018. Reading and Heathrow service to Paddington started using them in 2020.
 
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Cool! How did you get to ride on it? Was there some sort of "soft opening?"

As jis has kindly shown it is a phased opening, the section of line I was on has existed forever, only the train sets have changed.

Any opening by the Queen is often after the enterprise has started and been proven for a short while. The real opening will be when Essex is connected directly to Heathrow by a single train, that will be a game changer. I have much travelling across London with bags experience of the Victorian sections of that journey. Interesting, curious in a modern world and hard work.
 

jis

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As jis has kindly shown it is a phased opening, the section of line I was on has existed forever, only the train sets have changed.
If you were on the Western third out of Paddington then the Reading Service was operated variously by Great Western and others as suburban service out of Paddington, and the Heathrow service was operated by Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect. All of those have now been transferred to TfL's Elizabeth Line Service apparently.
 
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Shenfield is a terminus in it's own right for both TfL and for some of the Greater Anglia Southend to Shenfield trains.
Greater Anglia western terminus is Liverpool Street for all or most other eastern destinations and tend not to stop at more than one or two stations between LS and Shenfield.

Small piece of useless local infomation about Shenfield station. Platform numbering after going through the main entrance is 6,5,4,3,2,1 which tends to suggest perhaps the main entrance was once the other side of the station?
 
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I rode a very short part of this new line twice 2 days before it was 'officially' opened by the Queen yesterday and have a couple of poor quality photos, anyone interested?

Oh yes, please, Jamie! I’d love to see the photos and hear what you thought of it.

I saw a lovely video clip of the Queen visiting and being shown how to use an Oyster card. She looked healthier and more energetic than she has for a while (proving that trains are good for everyone?😊).

Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for London (the person some of us would have liked to run Amtrak), was also shown briefly, but the clip didn’t say if he got to say hello to the Queen or help her with her Oyster card.😁
 

JontyMort

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So the Queen basically inaugurated the Paddington Underground to Abbey Wood service. The West to Paddington Main Line and Liverpool Street Main Line to Shenfield continues as they were running for a while.
That’s right. At Paddington, the low level platforms will be in use - in effect as a temporary terminus - for traffic to and from the east. West of Paddington, everything will continue running to/from the main line platforms. Hopefully they stitch it all together in the end.
 

Deni

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As jis has kindly shown it is a phased opening, the section of line I was on has existed forever, only the train sets have changed.

Any opening by the Queen is often after the enterprise has started and been proven for a short while. The real opening will be when Essex is connected directly to Heathrow by a single train, that will be a game changer. I have much travelling across London with bags experience of the Victorian sections of that journey. Interesting, curious in a modern world and hard work.
No, I know that part, the phased opening. So you were on the line that has already been running or were you actually in the new tunnel?
 

Willbridge

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Oh yes, please, Jamie! I’d love to see the photos and hear what you thought of it.

I saw a lovely video clip of the Queen visiting and being shown how to use an Oyster card. She looked healthier and more energetic than she has for a while (proving that trains are good for everyone?😊).

Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for London (the person some of us would have liked to run Amtrak), was also shown briefly, but the clip didn’t say if he got to say hello to the Queen or help her with her Oyster card.😁
I thought the Queen looked like she was enjoying it. And she looked good in the Ukrainian flag colours. It was a well-run event.
 
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Shenfield is a terminus in it's own right for both TfL and for some of the Greater Anglia Southend to Shenfield trains.
I remember riding from Southend Victoria to Liverpool St. in 1982 in an ancient slam door EMU that still had closed compartments (no gangways) Sounds like the service has come a long way since then. I did it strictly for the experience, my relatives thought I was crazy for not taking the much faster service to Fenchurch St. out of Southend Central.
 

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No, I know that part, the phased opening. So you were on the line that has already been running or were you actually in the new tunnel?
Here is what he said up thread to a similar query...
No the eastern section from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, the opposite side of Greater London to Heathrow
 

caravanman

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I remember riding from Southend Victoria to Liverpool St. in 1982 in an ancient slam door EMU that still had closed compartments (no gangways) Sounds like the service has come a long way since then. I did it strictly for the experience, my relatives thought I was crazy for not taking the much faster service to Fenchurch St. out of Southend Central.
I left my job as a Locomotive "second man" with B.R. around 1978, but returned to the railways as a "guard" a few years later. I worked at Ilford Car Sheds, so I might well have been the guard on your train, above, from Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street in 1982. (I left for good in 1983, after a "misunderstanding" between me and a ticket inspector about my dodgy looking free pass...) ;)
 
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Oh yes, please, Jamie! I’d love to see the photos and hear what you thought of it.

Will do, at the weekend.

So the Queen basically inaugurated the Paddington Underground to Abbey Wood service. The West to Paddington Main Line and Liverpool Street Main Line to Shenfield continues as they were running for a while.

You have it in one, just as JontyMort wrote in greater detail.
 
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cirdan

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If you were on the Western third out of Paddington then the Reading Service was operated variously by Great Western and others as suburban service out of Paddington, and the Heathrow service was operated by Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect. All of those have now been transferred to TfL's Elizabeth Line Service apparently.
Are you saying that Heathrow Express is now fully replaced by Elizabeth Line?

Does this also mean the prohibitive fares this service used to charge are replaced by standard tfL zone-based fares? In other words that the fare is the same as for doing the same trip on the Piccadilly Line (which to me sounds like a fabulous but unexpected injection of sanity)
 

jis

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Are you saying that Heathrow Express is now fully replaced by Elizabeth Line?

Does this also mean the prohibitive fares this service used to charge are replaced by standard tfL zone-based fares?
I think it is Heathrow Connect that went to TfL Heathrow Express remains separate with high fare. I see Heathrow Express still costs GBP 25 or GBP 32 one way depending on the class of travel.
 

cirdan

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I think it is Heathrow Connect that went to TfL Heathrow Express remains separate with high fare. I see Heathrow Express still costs GBP 25 or GBP 32 one way depending on the class of travel.
Is there any advantage in opting for the higher fare, now that the argument of a shorter travel time is no more?
 

jis

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Is there any advantage in opting for the higher fare, now that the argument of a shorter travel time is no more?
Someone other than me will have to give a balanced view on that. The only reason I ever rode Heathrow Express once or twice was for the novelty of it. Generally I continued to take the Piccadilly Line in from Heathrow since it dropped me almost by the front doorsteps of the hotels that I typically use when in London.
 

greatwestern

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Someone other than me will have to give a balanced view on that. The only reason I ever rode Heathrow Express once or twice was for the novelty of it. Generally I continued to take the Piccadilly Line in from Heathrow since it dropped me almost by the front doorsteps of the hotels that I typically use when in London.
The Paddington "Heathrow Connect" service now under the banner of Tfl rail costs £11.60 (27 - 37 minute journey time, frequency 4 per hour) compared to Heathrow Express £25 (15 - 21 minute journey time, frequency 4 per hour).

The tube fare is £5.50 peak times, £3.50 off peak with a journey time (from Paddington involving changing tube lines) of between 55 and 60 minutes.

I'm never that pressed for time, so I'll leave it to you to guess what I would use (or I might even use the bus [2 changes needed], nearly 2 hours but cost of £0 using my all England OAP bus pass) !!
 

JontyMort

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Someone other than me will have to give a balanced view on that. The only reason I ever rode Heathrow Express once or twice was for the novelty of it. Generally I continued to take the Piccadilly Line in from Heathrow since it dropped me almost by the front doorsteps of the hotels that I typically use when in London.
Yes, the Piccadilly Line still has much in its favour for getting to/from - say - South Kensington, with the added advantage that you get to go on one of the best parts of the Underground system - the quadruple track section west of Hammersmith. Until now, it has always depended on exactly where you were going, since getting to/from Paddington is often a long way round. On the other hand, the Elizabeth Line will - when they sort out through running - significantly improve access from LHR to the City and especially Docklands, with Canary Wharf only 17 minutes from Paddington. At that point, any incentive to switch trains at Paddington may disappear.
 

Deni

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I think it is Heathrow Connect that went to TfL Heathrow Express remains separate with high fare. I see Heathrow Express still costs GBP 25 or GBP 32 one way depending on the class of travel.
Correct, Heathrow Express is still a separate, higher fare, service.
 

Deni

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Is there any advantage in opting for the higher fare, now that the argument of a shorter travel time is no more?
I think the shorter travel time argument is still there, and still about 15 minutes difference. But I could see the express losing riders when you are able to take a one-seat ride on the Elizabeth from stations east of Paddington. And they'll eventually have more frequencies as well.
 
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