top of page

The Lizzy Line

I had planned to take my first trip on the Elizabeth line on Tuesday 24th May on the day it opened, however other plans got in the way and I had to settle for the following day. I have to say that it was with quite a sense of anticipation that I alighted from my Circle Line train at Paddington and made my way towards the new station concourse.

All along the route there were staff to swiftly guide you in the right direction (I wonder how long that will last) and you exit through the old arches of Paddington station to emerge into the new open plaza with the entrance to the new station a few steps away.

The first thing that struck me was how steep the escalators are as I descended into the cavernous station concourse below. The gaggle of people in hi vis vests at the bottom of the up escalator was because a lady had got her long skirt trapped in the mechanism.

Passing through the ticket barrier and down another escalator brings you out onto the double platform which still had a whiff of new paint lingering around. The platform areas are very large and there’s a great sense of space and light. I love the overhead lighting it has a touch of the Art Deco about it, possibly a nod to the early days of the Underground.

The train arrived and we all got on and it felt like the plastic coverings had just been taken off the seats. I’m not sure if it was me but I thought I detected a slight fragrance being blown through the air ducts. The trains are all at platform level so there’s no “Mind the Gap” announcement, this must make things much easier for anyone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter like the lady who got on. A fellow passenger said to her “You must be pleased now it’s level access?” To which the lady in a strong east London accent replied, “I’d be a F****n sight happier if they were all like this“.

The carriages are much wider than standard tube trains, almost like Intercity trains. There is some seating that runs parallel with the walkway but the majority face the direction of travel.

The doors swished shut and the train virtually noiselessly moved off. It is very quiet there’s no clanking squealing wheels, no lurching from side to side and not much in the way of deceleration when you reach a station. My journey took me to Liverpool Street stopping at Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon. Bond Street station is not yet open and it will remain that way for several months yet. In all the journey time was around 9 minutes with the two stops so you can probably add on another minute for when Bond Street opens. The corresponding journey via the Hammersmith and City Line would take about 25 minutes.

Liverpool Street is probably even more jaw dropping than Paddington, beautiful clean lines everywhere, wide well lit walkways and concourses.You emerge into Liverpool Street station which in parts has been tarted up but that soon wears off if like me you head towards the Central Line and you’re faced with the tired old walkways and grimy track beds and that hot electrical oily smell peculiar to the Underground.

My train arrived and began the tortuous noisy journey, rocking and rolling in a rather stuffy carriage to my destination at St Paul’s where I walked up to street level through a very tired looking ticket hall blinking into daylight once more.

So the Elizabeth Line is very nice and something to show the visitors to the city, but please please please don’t change a thing with the other lines, as they have something that this newcomer will have to work at, they have history, quirkiness and dignity and I for one love them unconditionally.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page