The time is almost here — for real this time. Crossrail will open in the first half of 2022 (exact date TBC), and then... it won't be Crossrail anymore.
Crossrail, you see, is the name given to the infrastructure and construction project being undertaken in order to get the new railway ready for public use. But once it's open — indeed, as soon as those station keys are handed over to TfL — it'll officially be known as the Elizabeth line.
But really, who's going to call it that? It's quite a mouthful, and for years now, since the official name was announced in 2016, various shortenings and nicknames have been flying around. Three members of Londonist's editorial team have each plumped for a different favourite; the Lizzie line (for obvious reasons), the Lizard line (because of this), and the Betty (because... well, it sounds jolly, like a favourite grandma who's always got a sherbet lemon in her pocket).
Further afield, train expert Geoff Marshall has been pushing #PurpleTrain (to the tune of Prince's Purple Rain), for some time, and encouraging his followers to take up the moniker. #CrossPurpLiz is another one doing the rounds. This in turn has led to one Londonist staff member referring to it as 'The Purp', and quite frankly, we can see these nicknames getting out of hand.
And then of course, there's the possibly for portmanteau, in the style of the Bakerloo line, so called because of its route through both Baker Street and Waterloo. So far, Londonist Editor-at-Large Matt Brown favours the Mary Whitehouse line, combining Maryland, Whitechapel and Custom House. Above, we've placed a full Crossrail map, to get your creative juices flowing in that direction (though do note that the full line likely won't all open at once).
Even the colour of the line on the tube map has nickname potential. The grape? The Vimto? The Dairy Milk? If we're being proper about it, the Elizabeth line branding is Pantone 266c, whereas Cadbury uses Pantone 2685C. But don't let Pantone pedancy stand in the way of a good nickname.
If you're struggling to keep up with all these names, you're not alone. TfL staff had their own 'swear jar' for anyone who used the 'C' word rather than the official 'Elizabeth line'. And if they can't get it right, what hope is there for the rest of us?
What will you be calling the Elizabeth line? Share your most creative nicknames with us in the comments below, or over on Twitter.