The Elizabeth line opened on 24 May 2022 

The Elizabeth line is bringing 1.5 million more people within 45 minutes of central London. It links Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, via new 21km tunnels under central London. It has increased London’s rail capacity, cutting passenger journey times across the city, encouraging regeneration and generating significant employment opportunities.

Click the route map below to see a larger view.

Crossrail route map showing rail and air connections between Reading and Shenfield

Network Rail – an essential partner in the Crossrail Project

The Crossrail project is perhaps best known as a major tunnelling project, however 75% of the 100km route is above ground, and that’s where we come in.

We’re responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of the route that are on the existing network, running above ground through outer London, Berkshire and Essex.

Crossrail stations upgrade programme

Over the last eight years, we have been upgrading the stations on the existing surface sections ready for the start of the Elizabeth line. This is an important element for the Crossrail project. Passengers will benefit from improved passenger flow and enhanced accessibility with lifts and footbridges that will bring step free access to all platforms serving the Elizabeth line.

The completion and opening of the new entrance at Ilford station with lifts, and the completion of the refurbishment of Romford station (with lifts) at the end of August 2022, marks the completion of all the major stations upgrade work on the surfaces sections. All surface stations serving the Elizabeth line now have step-free access.

Our station upgrade work included:

  • New, bright, spacious ticket halls at a number of stations
  • New lifts and footbridges where required to ensure step-free access at every station
  • Platform modifications and extensions to accommodate the 200m long Elizabeth line trains
  • New signage, help points, customer information screens and CCTV
  • New platforms at certain stations.

Crossrail infrastructure upgrade programme 

As well as delivering upgrades for surface stations, Network Rail has also substantially completed the infrastructure upgrades that are essential to enabling the new service to operate reliably and effectively. These upgrades include:  

  • Construction of underpasses and flyovers 
  • Installation of new overhead electrification equipment  
  • Construction of power substations to regulate power demands on the mainlines  
  • Upgrade of track, junctions and sidings 
  • Upgrade of the signalling systems 

Questions and complaints 

You can get in touch by calling the 24-hour helpline on 0345 602 3813, or by email.

There is also a dedicated complaints commissioner for the Crossrail project. Any member of the public who feels they have been unable to resolve this issue in communication with either Network Rail or Crossrail may ask the Complaints Commissioner to adjudicate. The application must be submitted in writing and the Complaints Commissioner must respond within 28 days, unless a further time limit is agreed.