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With Crossrail's launch fast approaching, we've been thinking about the practicalities of the service. How often will the trains run at each station, and when? What's the difference between the peak and off-peak service?
We've put together the above map on what we think will happen, based on the information TfL has released so far:
- In December 2018 the service will start between Paddington and Abbey Wood running through the new tunnel section.
- TfL Rail between Heathrow and Paddington, and TfL Rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will be rebranded as the Elizabeth line in December 2018, and you'll have to change at Paddington and/or Liverpool Street if you need to.
- In May 2019 the line down from Shenfield will then go underground, and you'll be able to take direct trains between Paddington to both Abbey Wood and Shenfield.
- In December 2019 trains will run fully all the way through past Paddington to Heathrow and Reading in the west, and — as before — Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
We managed to create the above map by piecing together the following information from these publicly available documents:
- On TfL's website, there is a map (page 8) from a 2016 consultation that shows the proposed service specification.
- But things changed in July 2017, when TfL put out a press release indicating increase in services, and trains would now run to Heathrow Terminal 5.
- On the Crossrail website, there is a page with a link to the service pattern for trains to Shenfield, along with a page for details to the service pattern for services out to Reading.
Piece all these things together, and you get what we think is going to happen, as shown with our map. There are still some unknowns though, such as:
- The stopping pattern to the west of Paddington is still unknown. Will it be Reading trains or Maidenhead trains that stop at Iver, Burnham and Taplow? We suspect the latter.
- Will Heathrow T5 trains only stop at Ealing Broadway? We're unsure on this one.
- The figures suggest a 'peak only' train might run between Abbey Wood and Reading, but this could easily be wrong.