The final major customer upgrade for the Elizabeth line will take place on Sunday 21st May 2023, the latest board papers from Transport for London (TfL) have confirmed.

It was expected to take place at the same time as the National Rail timetable change, which is due on 21st May, but there was still a risk that the deadline would be missed due to some ongoing reliability issues and problems with an autoreverse at Paddington.

The autoreverse is used when a train heading west ends service at Paddington. The passengers get off, and then the train drives automatically towards Westbourne Park where it automatically reverses back to Paddington station — all while the driver is walking through the train to get to the other end to drive it eastwards again. The autoreverse saves precious minutes to enable more trains to be driven through the core tunnels.

Since 6th November 2022, the service has been operating 22 trains per hour (tph) in the Central Operating Section (COS) at peak times. With the May 2023 upgrade, it will increase the number of trains in the peak hours through the core tunnels to 24 per hour. There will also be shorter gaps between trains on the Abbey Wood branch – from 7 minutes to 5 minutes, and ending the temporary timetabled pause on eastbound trains heading into Paddington.

There are still problems on the western side of the line where it runs along Network Rail tracks, and these are expected to be resolved shortly, while a few more software upgrades are planned for the signalling and train control systems.

Baring internal changes to the line, such as more software upgrades, this May marks the effective completion of the Crossrail project as the final Elizabeth line service comes into effect.

There are some potential upgrades in the future.

One that’s guaranteed to happen is that a new Elizabeth line station will be built in west London, at the Old Oak Common interchange with HS2, which is due to open in 2029-33.

The core tunnels are also designed to handle up to 32 trains per hour — compared to the 24 trains per hour that’ll be in service from this May. The nine-carriage trains can also be lengthened to 11 carriages in total. Both of those upgrades would need central government funding to pay for the additional trains and carriages that would be needed though.

In the meantime – what is officially the final piece for the Crossrail project to complete the Elizabeth line kicks in on 21st May 2023.

This article was published on ianVisits


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The post Elizabeth line’s next upgrade set for 21st May 2023 appeared first on ianVisits.