Crossrail is to be known as the ‘Elizabeth Line’ from December 2018 in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced.
The announcement was made as the Queen visited the site of the Crossrail station at Bond Street, and she was presented with a commemorative roundel to mark the occasion. This will be the second line to be named in the Queen’s honour – London Underground’s Jubilee Line was opened in 1977 and named to mark 25 years since Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.
The £14.9 billion project includes construction of new tunnels beneath central London, a major surface works programme involving improvements to track and stations on the above ground sections, and construction of a new fleet of Class 345 EMUs to operate the service. The cross-London link, which will stretch from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, is due to open in phases. The above ground sections of route to Shenfield and Heathrow will be first, while trains will start operating through the central London tunnels in December 2018, with the whole line up and running a year later.
Mr Johnson said: ‘I think it’s truly wonderful that such a significant line for our capital, will carry such a significant name from our country. As well as radically improving travel right across our city, the Elizabeth Line will provide a lasting tribute to our longest serving monarch.’
Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said: ‘Construction for the new railway is now over 70 per cent complete and is being delivered on time and within budget. The Crossrail project is one of the most ambitious and complex infrastructure programmes ever undertaken in the UK, the scale of engineering being delivered under the capital is quite incredible. The opening of the Elizabeth Line in 2018 will be a significant moment for London.’