Transport for London has announced that services on the future Elizabeth Line – currently Crossrail – will be more frequent than originally planned when the rail link becomes fully operational in December 2019.
Off-peak services between Paddington and Whitechapel will be increased from the planned 16 trains per hour to 20.
An additional two trains per hour will also run between Paddington and Shenfield and a further two trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood will also be introduced in off-peak hours.
Peak services to destinations west of Paddington will also be boosted, with services from Reading doubling from 2 trains per hour to 4 trains and services to Maidenhead increasing from 4 trains per hour to 6.
Trains will now call at Heathrow Terminal 5 – meaning all Heathrow Terminals will be served by the the line. A total of six trains per hour will serve Heathrow Terminals from December 2019, with four going to Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and two to Terminals 2, 3 and 5.
The frequency boost has been announced following collaboration between TfL, the Department for Transport, Network Rail and train operating companies.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London, with new state-of-the-art trains moving passengers quickly across key parts of London and the South East.
“I am delighted that we can today announce that Elizabeth line services will be more frequent than originally planned, making journeys even more convenient for people travelling in and out of London, and helping ease pressure on other parts of our busy transport network.
“With more regular services connecting central London with key locations like Heathrow Airport, the benefits will be felt directly by millions of commuters, tourists, and businesses every year.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, said: “It’s great news there will be more services on the Elizabeth line, meaning more passengers can travel with greater convenience across London and beyond on trains which are an example of British engineering at its best.
“The Elizabeth line will transform the way people travel across London and beyond, bringing better and faster journeys, while boosting jobs and driving economic growth.”
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, added: “We want to deliver the very best service for customers from day one of the Elizabeth line.
“The timetable improvements that we have been developing ahead of full opening of the line in December 2019 will see additional services to destinations west of Paddington, including Reading, Maidenhead and Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as increased off-peak frequencies in central London.
“This will make journeys on the new accessible line even easier and more convenient for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to use it each day.”