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Queen Elizabeth II

On Victoria’s birthday, will The Queen be involved in opening the Elizabeth Line?

A few weeks before the Platinum Jubilee weekend, the capital will open its new Crossrail service, the Elizabeth line. But can we expect to see the sovereign it’s named after at the opening of the line?

The railway is set to run from Reading in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in southeast London. It was initially planned to open in full in December 2018 but was hit by numerous delays. Problems pushing back the opening include construction delays and difficulties installing complex signalling systems.

It is hoped The Queen will make an appearance as the line is opened; after all, it is named in her honour. In recent months, Her Majesty has been dialling back on public engagements and has instead undertaken light duties or virtual meetings. If she attends, it’s likely there will not be an announcement until closer to the opening date of 24 May.

The line will operate 12 trains per hour Monday to Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood. Those trains will begin running at 6.30 am and stop at 11 pm. Further testing and software updates will happen on Sundays. The Sunday closures will be lifted on 5 June to allow people to travel within the capital for the Platinum Jubilee Weekend.

TFL’s commissioner, Andy Byford said of the opening: “I am delighted that we can now announce a date for the opening of the Elizabeth line in May.

We are using these final few weeks to continue to build up reliability on the railway and get the Elizabeth line ready to welcome customers. The opening day is set to be a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, and we look forward to showcasing a simply stunning addition to our network.”

The project has massively overgone its original budget of £14.8 billion. The total cost of the project is now an estimated £18.9 billion, including the £5.1 billion from the government.

A full timetable with direct trains running across the line is expected to launch by May 2023. The Bond Street Elizabeth line station will not be ready by 24 May but is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.