Elizabeth line falls apart on first weekday of final timetable

Today has seen the entire core section of the Elizabeth line closed on the first weekday of the complete, final timetable.

Yet again a train fault has occurred bringing the service to a halt between Abbey Wood and Paddington.

Central London now sees 24 trains per hour – when they work

Transport for London had highlighted software glitches in recent weeks impacting service reliability, but stated updates would be in place before the final timetable was implemented.

The latest and last major change brings the service to final levels of 12 per hour in the peaks to both the south east and eastern branch (Abbey Wood and Shenfield) ensuring 24 tph through central London. To the west, waits outside London in place since services beyond Paddington commenced were to be removed.

Other service changes include direct trains from Heathrow to east London complimenting direct trains to Abbey Wood.

Abbey Wood station

The line opened a year ago between Abbey Wood and Paddington with excellent reliability seen. Then through running begun to the west of London and Shenfield to the east, with ever more problems encountered.

Two major software upgrades have been undertaken (EL300 and EL400) but increasing problems remain, and today’s collapse which saw the entire section through Canary Wharf closed isn’t a great omen.

Soputheastern platforms on left. Interchange hampered by service cuts

Southeastern have also changed their timetable this weekend yet the longest service gaps for decades remain on the Woolwich and line Abbey Wood for connections with Elizabeth line services. Southeastern halved services on the Greenwich line from four to two per hour last December  after demands from government for cuts.

Uneven spacing of remaining Thameslink and Southeastern trains now ensures long waits.


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J 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.

    2 thoughts on “Elizabeth line falls apart on first weekday of final timetable

    • Didn’t see you comment on this event Murky, but coming back from LBG to MZH Friday early evening after a late night shop, shortly after leaving LBG a huge explosive bang caused passengers to check outside and a large fire had started in the middle of the tracks. Possibly electrical? We ground to a halt less than a minute later before Deptford, Thought we were stuck for a while if power switched off, but luckily restarted after a few mins. Did anyone hear of anything? In 40-50 years of using SE Rail services I have NEVER witnessed such an occurrence. Scary stuff.

    • Whilst it’s an amazing milestone, bringing the Crossrail project to a finish, the frequent train failures that quickly result in severe delays across the whole line are often making me think twice about using the Liz Line.

      The blank platform displays don’t help matters as you’re just wondering if you should continue to wait or just find an alternative route.

      The SE/TL services seem to have a lower probability of failure.

      I hope TFL sort this out. I happened to watch the Crossrail committee last week on YouTube and I felt they glossed over the amount of daily disruption still being experienced.


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