The Elizabeth line opened back in May 2022 but there are still some kinks to be ironed out — among them, finishing off the tardy Bond Street station.
What's the deal with Bond Street station?
Back in May, the Elizabeth line was declared open, when the newly tunnelled central section (from Paddington to Abbey Wood and Paddington to Liverpool Street) began running. But one of those central stations did NOT open. That station? Bond Street.
Why didn't Bond Street's Elizabeth line station open when the others did?
It's proved something of a problem station, with issues apparently stemming back to 2014. First there were 'tunnelling issues', which set back the installation of everything else. Fire regulations changed during the station's build, post-Grenfell, which meant having to redo aspects of the fire protection. And in 2020, Bond Street's main contractor Costain Skanska JV left the project, owing to the pandemic. The whole kit and caboodle had to be replanned and resequenced, before being restarted, with Crossrail itself taking over the engineering reins.
When could Bond Street station open?
At one stage, apparently, the Elizabeth line's Bond Street station was behind by 18 months — but now it's 'caught up' to being three months behind schedule. That would have it on track to open late August 2022. On the record, Commissioner for Transport for London Andy Byford has said it'll open in the autumn. Crossrail chief exec Mark Wild has also said in interviews that Bond Street will open in August or September.
In all likelihood, the station's opening will coincide with the next phase of the Elizabeth line, which will link up services from Reading (in the west) and Shenfield (in the east) to the central section of track.
Can we trust Bond Street to open though?
Have you ever met Andy Byford? We have, and, believe us, the fixer-upper-in-chief is a man on a mission. He's the kind of guy who could bring a wooly mammoth back to life through sheer willpower — and was utterly fixated on hitting the 'first half of 2022' date for the Elizabeth line central section's opening (spoiler alert; it opened on time.). Notwithstanding an earthquake or plague of locusts (and really, these days, who knows), Bond Street will open this autumn. Likely before September's out.
What will Bond Street station be like when it opens?
Two contemporary colonnaded entrances — red sandstone and bronze on Davies Street, pale Portland stone on Hanover Square — will lead into vast, bright ticket halls, with escalators descending into roomy tunnels with white perforated tiles, which we're already becoming familiar with on the Elizabeth line.
As with the Elizabeth line's other central stations, Bond Street will be deep (28m below ground) and pretty vast — with a platform length of up to 255 metres, that'll process some 137,000 passengers every day.
Importantly, it'll also interchange with the Central and Jubilee lines.
Will life be better with a Bond Street Elizabeth line station?
Why, certainly. Londonist readers recently bemoaned the non-existence of the station — but all of a sudden, you'll be able to get from smack dab in the heart of the West End to, say, Whitechapel, in 11 minutes rather than 22. Not long now, folks.