Crossrail testing to begin on both Abbey Wood and Stratford branches into central section

Crossrail are to test run trains from both eastern branches into the core central London section tomorrow (Sunday 30 January) as further preparations commence for opening.

Testing will see trains from both the Abbey Wood and Shenfield branch run to Paddington. They will only run as far as Stratford on the Shenfield branch.

Trains can be seen coming and going with high regularity at Abbey Wood station

Planned frequencies vary quite a bit throughout the day, with trains running up to two and a half minutes apart at certain times in the central section.

When the full Crossrail service is running (and named the Elizabeth Line), trains will depart Abbey Wood every five minutes resulting in a 12 trains per hour service, with another 12 from Shenfield resulting in 24 per hour in the central section from Liverpool Street to Paddington. There won’t be the full 24 tph running tomorrow, with up to 18 tph at the height of testing.

Abbey Wood station. Crossrail train seen on right as testing continues

On the west trains will run to Reading and Heathrow when open.

Full Elizabeth Line route map

Frequent testing from Abbey Wood has been ongoing for some time, and waiting at the station shows a steady stream coming and going. Tests from the other Eastern branch into the core have been far rarer given a later opening date for that branch, with certain days dedicated to testing recently though not with both branches running together.

Taken from adjacent train

This past week saw Canary Wharf station handed over to TfL on the Abbey Wood branch, leaving just Bond Street remaining.

Testing with volunteers in tunnels is set to begin in mid-February, with many centred around Woolwich station.

Woolwich station with shutters down – for now

And so after many false starts we now see milestones met on an almost daily basis. It’ll certainly be transformative for me, and many others too. It’ll not only make getting around London far quicker and easier (cheaper too in Abbey Wood given National Rail fares are more expensive than the TfL fare scale) but also trips across the country with many large train termini easily reachable. Liverpool Street just 15 minutes from Abbey Wood, and Paddington in less than 30. Bring it on.

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Thank you

John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Crossrail testing to begin on both Abbey Wood and Stratford branches into central section

  • January 29, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Looking forward to the Elizabeth Line opening later this year. The new service will greatly improve journey times to Central London and Canary Wharf.

  • February 1, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Out of curiosity, when Crossrail finally opens, I was wonder if they still going ahead with the Bus Changes they proposed in 2018 across the network? (I.e.: 472 to Abbey Wood, the 469 diversion via New Road, 180 to North Greenwich)

  • February 2, 2022 at 6:13 am

    I did ask TFL this recently. The response I received was yes the changes to routes 129 180 469 and 472 would go ahead when Crossrail opens later this year.

    Sadly some areas of the Borough will still not have a direct bus service to the new Crossrail Stations.


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