Trial Operations underway ahead of Elizabeth line opening next year

Elizabeth line train | Hillingdon Today
One of the new Elizabeth line trains / Transport for London

Trial Operations are now underway ahead of the Elizabeth line opening next year.

This rigorous set of exercises will allow the railway to demonstrate the highest levels of safety and reliability before it can start carrying customers. It marks the final phase of the programme before the Elizabeth line opens for passenger services between Paddington and Abbey Wood in the first half of 2022.

Trial Operations involves operational exercises to ensure the safety and reliability of the railway for public use and to fully test the timetables. More than 150 scenarios will be carried out over the coming months to ensure the readiness of the railway for passenger service.

These include exercises to make sure that all systems and procedures work effectively and staff can respond to any incidents, including customers being unwell or signal failures.

In the new year, a series of more complex exercises will include evacuations of trains and stations using thousands of staff.

The final step will see a period of ‘shadow running’, operating timetabled services ahead of the Elizabeth line opening. It will take several months to complete this final complicated phase.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Reaching the start of Trial Operations is a significant milestone in the delivery of the Elizabeth line, and it’s really exciting to be moving into this phase.

“The next few months are crucial to making sure the railway can open safely next year, and everyone is working incredibly hard to reach that goal.

“The Elizabeth line will help transform travel in London and the South East, dramatically improving transport links, supporting regeneration and boosting our economic recovery.”