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Western Section - Paddington to Heathrow and Reading

The western section of the Elizabeth line route will run on the existing rail network from Paddington to Heathrow and Reading.

A number of major upgrades have been carried out by Network Rail on this section of the route in preparation for the arrival of Elizabeth line services. The Crossrail project is providing new trains, better stations and easier, more reliable journeys for passengers in west London, South Bucks and Berkshire.

The western section improvement works bring passengers the benefit of enhanced accessibility with lifts and footbridges that will bring step-free access to all platforms and the full introduction of the new Elizabeth line trains (Class 345s) and the GWR Electrostar trains (Class 387s).


Major improvements delivered to stations across the western section of the route include:

  • New, bright, spacious ticket halls at a number of stations in west London
  • New lifts and footbridges to ensure step-free access to all platforms serving the Elizabeth line at every station* 
  • New signage, help points, customer information screens and CCTV.
  • Platform extensions to accommodate the 205m long Crossrail trains
  • Driver Only Operation (DOO) cameras at all stations, where required

*Works still in progress at West Drayton, expected to be complete later in 2021.

Network Rail are also working with Crossrail and local councils to integrate plans for improvements to the areas around the stations.

These works may bring some disruption, but Network Rail are working closely with the Council's and Train Operators to minimise impacts.


Major upgrades have been delivered to improve reliability:

  • A new flyover has been built at Stockley to add capacity at the busy junction to Heathrow
  • A new dive-under has been built in Acton to remove a bottleneck to the west of Paddington
  • The electrification of the railway in west London, South Bucks and Berkshire to pave the way for the introduction of quicker, greener, more reliable electric trains
  • A new depot at Old Oak Common
  • Sidings at Maidenhead


Transport for London (TfL) took over responsibility for stopping services between Heathrow and Paddington Main line station in May 2018 in preparation for the arrival of full Elizabeth line services.