Elizabeth Line: Abbey Wood and Woolwich to get Heathrow trains from November

Woolwich Elizabeth Line roundel
The new route will bring Henley-on-Thames closer to Woolwich than Margate

Elizabeth Line trains from Woolwich and Abbey Wood will run through to Reading and Heathrow from November 6 – with services also running on Sundays for the first time.

Trains will take just under an hour to reach Heathrow Central from Abbey Wood with Terminals 4 and 5 reachable in under 70 minutes.

Bond Street station will also open “by November”, Transport for London said, meaning the West End’s Christmas lights will be less than half an hour away from Woolwich.

The announcement comes nearly three months after the Elizabeth Line opened between Paddington and Abbey Wood. TfL says 11 million journeys have been made on that section of route since then.

Reading will be 95 minutes away from Abbey Wood, although passengers wanting the Berkshire town can save even more time by changing for an fast train at Paddington.

Even on the stopping train, the regatta town of Henley-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire, will become quicker to reach from Woolwich than Margate – passengers will just need to change at Twyford as part of a 97-minute journey.

Woolwich Works
The announcement will be a boost for Woolwich Works

The new link connects great swathes of west London too, including Acton, Ealing, Hanwell and Southall – bringing new audiences to the troubled Woolwich Works venue and arts events in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead.

Services currently run from Paddington between 6.30am and 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays, but from September 5 they will run from 5.30am to 11pm.

Trains will also be able to run through from Paddington to Shenfield, Essex, from November 6, bringing the cavernous junction at Stepney, one of the bigger engineering feats of the Crossrail project, into use.

Through trains from Berkshire to Essex will have to wait until next year, and the Elizabeth Line will be closed on some days over Christmas so work can continue on finishing the project. Details will be announced nearer the time.

Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, said: “When we delivered on our promise to open the central section of the Elizabeth Line in the first half of this year, I further promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and that the next phase of the line opening would also be achieved within that timeframe.

“I am excited to see the Elizabeth Line unlock quicker and better journey options, greater accessibility, and further connectivity to jobs and leisure for even more people. This will be another giant leap for London’s public transport system, which supports economic growth in the capital and right across the country.”

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