Crossrail won't be in fully working order until December 2018, but did you know you can already play around with the Crossrail journey planner?
Visit Crossrail.co.uk/route, scroll down a bit, and you'll find a Journey Time Calculator on the right hand side.
It's nerdy good fun playing about with the various origins and destinations. You can, for instance, work out that the journey from one end of Crossrail to the other — in this case from Reading in the west to Shenfield in the east — will take 102 minutes.
That's exactly the right amount of time to stream the Wizard of Oz, should you need cheering up on a dreary commute...
... or Dirty Harry, should you need to psyche yourself up for that all-important meeting in Shenfield.
You can also pit various journey planners against each other, to see how Crossrail fares against current transport options. So we can see that the same journey from Reading to Shenfield currently takes an average of about nine minutes longer than Crossrail will, and involves two changes.
And how about those all-important trips to and from the airport?
The current journey time from Paddington to Heathrow Terminals 1-3 is 15 minutes on the Heathrow Expess. Zippy, we'll admit.
On Crossrail, it'll still take on average nine minutes longer.
How many passengers decide the Express' premium fee is worth gaining that extra nine minutes, remains to be seen. But if you're used to taking the tube, then the Crossrail journey is going to smash the journey time by more than half:
Even if you don't need to travel from Paddington, and depart from, say Piccadilly Circus instead, Crossrail's still going to save you about 25 minutes from central to airport, and vice versa.
Of course, because the Crossrail trains aren't actually running yet, none of them can be delayed or cancelled. And once the line is in in service, you may find that journey planner is giving you slightly different journey times...
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