The Elizabeth line is beating passenger number predictions since it started through running last November, with averages now exceeding 3.5 million passengers a week, according to the latest board papers from the Elizabeth line Committee.

Tottenham Court Road station

A few weeks ago, TfL amended the budget for the Elizabeth line to more accurately reflect its earlier than targetted start, but even still, the line is outperforming the revised budget by 3 million journeys.

The Committee says this is thanks to “higher than expected passenger numbers across the whole line following the start of through running.”

Fares income is also £9 million above the revised budget, and the Elizabeth line remains on target to break even in the year 2023/24.

At the moment, the Elizabeth line is running a peak hours service of 24 trains per hour (tph), but is seeing problems on the eastern and western ends of the line which has reduced reliability — the public performance measure (PPM) — which if not fixed would be below that which is needed to maintain a resilient 24 trains per hour (tph) service when its introduced on 21st May 2023.

The main concern is at the Great Western Main Line side, out of Paddington, and work is being carried out by Network Rail to fix the problems there.

In addition, the reliability of the trains has been challenging since the introduction of the more intensive timetable and both RfL(I) and Alstom are working to understand the root causes and find solutions. A software upgrade that they expect will fix the problems will be installed in February.

Ahead of the May 2023 upgrade, other changes have taken place.

Minor timetable changes were delivered last month which included an additional early morning service from Whitechapel to Paddington and faster journeys between Heathrow Terminal 2/3 and Terminal 5.

The core tunnels were closed over Christmas for more upgrades, including the commissioning of the major ELR300 signalling software update, as well as upgrades to Central Management System and Station Management System software.

A further signalling upgrade, ELR400, is planned for Easter 2023 to deliver the final configuration for auto reverse of trains at Paddington and increasing peak hour frequency to 24 trains per hour (tph).

All being well, the final upgrade will kick in on 21st May 2023, which will see an increase in peak hour trains, shorter gaps between trains on the Abbey Wood branch and ending the temporary pause in the journey that takes place just outside Paddington on trains heading into London.

This article was published on ianVisits


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