May 17, 2022 was a big day for transit in London.
Queen Elizabeth II paid a surprise visit to Paddington Station in London on May 17 to officially open the Elizabeth Line, a $22 billion, long-delayed rail line cutting east to west across central London.
An article by Rory Tingle for the Daily Mail gives the scoop on the Queen’s attendance at the new rail line’s grand opening. The Queen added money to a fare card with the guidance of a Crossrail worker. Andy Byford, former President of New York City Transit was also on hand for the opening in his current capacity as commissioner of Transport for London.
As for details about the new rail line, an article by Mark Landler for the New York Times detailed the key facts about the new rail line.
“The Elizabeth line has been under construction for 13 years, seven years before Britons voted to leave the European Union. It was on the drawing board for decades before that, under the name Crossrail — so long that in the minds of many Londoners, it was never going to be finished. Its empty, brightly lit stations, sealed off behind fire doors, are portals to an unseen world,” writes Landler.
According to the article, the new line’s stations have a “wow factor,” with “vast, cathedral-like spaces” and “platforms that seem to stretch to infinity.”
The Elizabeth Line is also opening in phases, with more to come this fall. “When the Elizabeth line’s next phase is opened in the fall, passengers will be able to travel from Heathrow to the banks at Canary Wharf in East London in 40 minutes,” explains Landler.
For a sneak peak at the new Elizabeth Line, see also the video above by B1M, which provides a guided tour, shot in April 2022.
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