Elizabeth line services started from Abbey Wood and Woolwich this morning, marked with a visit by special guests including Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and TfL Commissioner Andy Byford.
Royal Greenwich Councillors and the guests enjoyed lively entertainment coordinated by Woolwich’s own arts and culture venue Woolwich Works including the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and carnival dancers from Taru Arts (pictured) in honour of the special occasion.
Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “It is fantastic to see Elizabeth line services starting today, bringing more efficient, accessible, high quality public transport options to Abbey Wood and Woolwich. We lobbied for the line to come to Woolwich because we knew it would provide our residents and businesses with a wealth of valuable opportunities. This is a game-changer for Royal Greenwich, offering access to a potential 1.2 million jobs within a 45-minute commute and helping to encourage further investment in Woolwich town centre.”
It was reported that hundreds of people queued at Abbey Wood station, to catch the first train, which departed on time, at 06.33am on Tuesday.
Really proud of the work so many in @Royal_Greenwich did to make today possible. A game changer for our borough.
Enjoy the ride! 🚊 https://t.co/O3movLt5VH
— Dan Thorpe (@DanLThorpe) May 24, 2022
Incoming Leader of the borough, Councillor Anthony Okereke, said: “The Elizabeth line is a crucial step in the transformation of Woolwich and it is amazing to see this ambitious project become a reality. I’ve lived in Woolwich my whole life; this is a genuinely exciting time to become Leader and see the next chapter in Woolwich’s history beginning. We’re committed to delivering high quality new homes and leisure facilities which will make a real difference to the lives of our residents. Woolwich Works, our cultural hub, is already attracting new audiences to the town and we’re working on the development of a new leisure centre. There is a real sense of momentum growing and the Elizabeth line is going to help promote Woolwich even more.”
The Elizabeth line is expected to see around 200 million passengers each year. It operates 12 trains per hour, Monday to Saturday, from 6.30am to 11pm and all stations will be staffed from first to the last train. All Elizabeth line stations are step free from street to platform, apart from Ilford, which is expected to be step free in the summer. Construction started in 2011 and full services across the entire 60-mile route will be introduced by May 2023.
Mayor of The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Denise Hyland was one of many eager visitors to the new station in Woolwich, who also donned purple, in homage to the colour of the line on transport maps, to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan and representatives from TfL were also at Woolwich to mark the start of the new train service.
The Elizabeth Line has seen the opening of ten new stations and, when it is completely running by 2023, will directly connect Reading in the west, with Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south London