Hundreds of people gathered in central London on Tuesday morning to be among the first passengers on the completed £18.9bn Elizabeth line.
The first train departed on time at 6.33am, after numerous setbacks and delays dating back to 2007, when the project was signed off by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The line, built by the Crossrail project, stretches from Reading in Berkshire and Heathrow Airport in west London to Abbey Wood in south-east London and Shenfield in Essex.
Here’s what you need to know.
Where does the Elizabeth Line run?
TfL has released an official map showing the route of the Elizabeth line. For a full high resolution map, click here.
The new central section, which consists of ten stations, runs through tunnels from Paddington in west London to Abbey Wood.
It will initially be closed on Sundays – apart from during the Platinum Jubilee weekend – to allow further testing and software updates to take place.
The ten new stations are:
- Bond Street (Opening later this year)
- Tottenham Court Road
- Liverpool Street
- Canary Wharf
- Custom House
- Abbey Wood
- The Elizabeth line will cut journey times from Abbey Wood, south-east London, to Paddington by almost half to 29 minutes.
- Journeys between Liverpool Street and Woolwich will also be halved to 15 minutes.
- Trips between Farringdon and Canary Wharf will take 10 minutes, instead of 24.
Other example journey times:
- Bond Street to Liverpool Street: Seven minutes
- Woolwich to Farringdon: 14 minutes
- Paddington to Canary Wharf: 17 minutes
East section journey times (autumn 2022)
- Stratford to Bond Street: 15 minutes
- Romford to Liverpool Street: 27 minutes
West section journey times (autumn 2022)
- Tottenham Court Road to Ealing Broadway: 13 minutes
- Paddington to Slough: 26 minutes
Where to change train
There are 41 stations on the Elizabeth Line in total, which currently operates across three separate railways: Reading to Paddington, Paddington to Abbey Wood and Liverpool Street to Shenfield.
Today has seen the opening of the Paddington to Abbey Wood section, meaning all parts of the network are running, but not yet connected.
By changing at Paddington or Liverpool Street, you can transfer between the different parts of the line and access every station.
TfL says the three sections should be directly linked by autumn 2022.