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History of the Elizabeth line

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The Elizabeth line is the most significant addition to London’s transport network in a generation. The new railway will transform life and travel in London and the South East, reduce journey times, create additional capacity, transform accessibility and provide a huge economic boost.

The new railway being delivered by Crossrail Ltd runs for over 100km through central London from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Reading and Heathrow in the west and has a total of 41 stations including 10 major new stations. The Elizabeth line will connect London’s main employment centres and support new journeys through central London out to Essex, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. 

Did you know the idea of an east-west railway under the capital has existed as a concept in modern times since just after the London Blitz? 

After an unsuccessful initial attempt to gain powers for a cross-London railway in the 1990s, the current scheme, which became the Elizabeth line, was developed by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) starting in 2001. The Crossrail Hybrid Bill was submitted to Parliament in 2005 and Royal Assent was achieved in 2008.

Use the navigation to the right to explore the history of the Elizabeth line and the Crossrail project, which, at the height of construction was the biggest railway infrastructure project in Europe.