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Part of Crossrail has launched... *checks notes*... early?
As you might have heard, the Class 345s are due to start running out to Reading on 15 December. However, in a brilliantly sneaky move from TfL, they are already running on that route.
Consider this a soft launch, with three services on the new trains between Paddington and Reading in the morning and another three in the evening. Well, two of those evening three only go as far as Maidenhead — see below for details.
The services are still technically GWR, until the switchover on 15 December. They're just being operated by TfL Rail — the name for Crossrail services until Elizabeth line branding comes in (although who knows when that will be). Because they're still GWR, you can't use contactless out to Reading on them yet, just old paper tickets. That will change with the official launch, which is when we might expect to see Reading on the tube map.
Here are the times of the six services Class 345 services:
- 7.32am from Reading to Paddington
- 8.43am from Paddington to Reading
- 9.48am from Reading to Paddington
- 4.56pm from Paddington to Maidenhead
- 5.42pm from Maidenhead to Paddington
- 6.42pm from Paddington to Reading
For more details watch Geoff Marshall's excellent video where he rode the first train on Monday 25 November.