The Elizabeth line, the latest addition to London’s sprawling tube system, officially opened on Tuesday after years of construction, allowing Londoners to board spacious new trains and walk the cathedral-like halls of the stations.
Author: Megan Specia
Published: 2022-05-24 02:54 pm
London’s Famed Tube System Expands
www.nytimes.com

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
Megan Specia/The New York Times

The Elizabeth line, the latest addition to London’s sprawling tube system, officially opened on Tuesday after years of construction, allowing Londoners to board spacious new trains and walk the cathedral-like halls of the stations.

I hopped on board with thousands of riders →

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
Megan Specia/The New York Times

The line, also known as the Crossrail, stretches across London from east to west, has been 13-years in the making, and will eventually run for more than 62 miles once all stations are opened.

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
Megan Specia/The New York Times

At Paddington station, I met Prateek Karandikar, a public transport enthusiast who lives in central London. He got up before dawn to be on the first train open to the public.

“I had to be there,” he said.

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
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Megan Specia/The New York Times

The line has 41 accessible stations, 10 of which are new.

Brendon Taylor, 18, a disability rights advocate from Bristol, described his ride as “mind-blowing.‘’ A journey that once took him two hours will now take him 15 minutes.

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
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Megan Specia/The New York Times

Robert Grant, 80, Terry Ardren, 81, and Peter Douglas, 85, were eager to take a peek at the new tube line.

“Since we are old Londoners, we can ride for free!” Mr. Grant said with a chuckle.

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
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Pool photo by Andrew Matthews

The line’s namesake, Queen Elizabeth II, made a surprise visit to the Elizabeth line at Paddington station last week.

The line opened a week before national celebrations marking her Platinum Jubilee.

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Megan Specia�� On board the new Elizabeth line in London
Megan Specia/The New York Times

In the first three-and-a-half hours of the train running, more than 130,000 rides were taken.

But the line is still only partially operating, with full service scheduled to begin in May 2023.

Read more on the Elizabeth line:

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