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Elizabeth Line. Photograph: TfL

London’s first Elizabeth Line passengers react on Twitter

As Crossrail opens with a fanfare, passengers reveal what it’s actually like travelling on the brand new line

Written by
Annette Richardson

Finally it’s here! It’s a red-letter day for Londoners, or rather a properly regal purple one as the Elizabeth Line aka Crossrail finally opens to the public after a much-anticipated and (let’s be honest) really quite long wait.

In case you have been hiding up a tree for the last couple of decades, the Elizabeth Line is London’s newest transport link that links east to west across the city. Dedicated to Her Majesty (hence ‘Elizabeth Line’) to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee year, the aim was to have everything up and at us by the Jubilee Bank Holiday. Currently running from zones 1-4 and allowing you to travel seamlessly from Abbey Wood in the south-east to Paddington in the west, by 2023 you'll be able to travel from Shenfield in Essex to Reading and Heathrow. All this, without getting off a train that’s not quite a tube as TfL have also hooked up with rail networks to deliver what is a massive 100km project that incorporates 41 stations.

If you are wondering how time has passed since the first excavations began for the Elizabeth Line, then take a look at your average year 9 pupils in all their glorious spotty glory, yup, that’s right, it’s been 13 years. There have been delays (definitely), false alarms, spiralling costs and tears (almost certainly) but ultimately today is the day that bums are on seats and we get the verdict from actual Elizabeth Line passengers. The response is mostly positive but a 9am blip in the form of a fire evacuation at Paddington (quickly resolved), created a bit of a stir.

We’ll start with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, as he’s, erm, Mayor of London

One excited passenger hopped on to take the early train. First impressions? It’s pretty busy, but there’s an unusual amount of smiles given that this is a London commute.
Eager crowds queued in very soggy circumstances outside Abbey Wood this morning to catch the first-ever westbound train.
If this all seems like something historic to be part of, do bear in mind that there were hazards that some brave passengers had to negotiate on the 11am from Paddington, namely an enforced fun (oxymoron, if ever there was one) riff on the Elizabeth Line livery, in the form of ‘Purple (T)rain’ karaoke 
This proud dad delivered his experience with brutal honesty (it’s not the crown that makes the wearer, eh?).
Craig gave us the good stuff that we’ve actually been waiting for – frankly, we are all here for the first dog on the Elizabeth Line, who turned out to be a very serious cockapoo on the 6.30am from Abbey Wood who clearly realises the seriousness of the moment,
Seems like it’s a two thumbs up for the big purple lady.
Need more #purpletrain in your life? Here’s a pocket-sized guide to the Elizabeth Line launch.

Feeling peckish while you Crossrail? Here’s where to eat along it.

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