TfL Rail is the concession operating commuter services on two separate railway lines in London and its environs whilst the planned link-up between these lines is being constructed. This will form part of the Crossrail service when it opens. At that time, the TfL Rail name will be retired and the services will become operated by Crossrail, with the route named the Elizabeth line. The Elizabeth line was initially due to open in December 2018.
|Owner||Transport for London|
|Number of lines||2|
|Number of stations||32 (22 managed)|
|Began operation||31 May 2015|
|System length||36 miles 54 chains (59.0 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV AC overhead lines|
TfL Rail was introduced on 31 May 2015 when it took control from Abellio Greater Anglia of the commuter "metro" service between Liverpool Street in central London and Shenfield in Essex. The branch comprises the first 14 stations on the Great Eastern Main Line, with interchange at Shenfield for medium- and long-distance services beyond to East Anglia. TfL Rail has also taken over operation of some services from Paddington to Heathrow Airport and Reading. Services are operated by MTR Corporation under contract to Transport for London (TfL). Between May 2016 and May 2017, TfL Rail carried over 47 million passengers on the Shenfield branch.
In June 2013 TfL announced that Arriva, MTR Corporation, Keolis/Go-Ahead Group and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the concession to operate Crossrail, which was under construction.
MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd was created as a new train operating company and took control of the "metro" service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield from the previous operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, on 31 May 2015. The existing Class 315 trains were re-painted in TfL Rail livery, and appropriate branding, advertising and message boards were added at the 14 stations along the line. Every station is staffed, from the first train to the last of the day. In June 2017, Class 345 trains began running between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
In December 2019, TfL Rail took over operation of the Great Western Railway stopping services between Paddington and Reading. In November 2019, Class 345 trains began running between Paddington and Reading, as a soft launch of the service.
In July 2020, Class 345 trains began running between Paddington and Heathrow.
The line will be renamed the Elizabeth line when the central section opens, with the current branches connecting up with the core later.
The eastern branch of TfL Rail runs over the existing 20 miles 16 chains (32.5 km) of track on the Great Eastern Main Line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. The future Elizabeth line route will retain the use of most of this track, except the portion between Liverpool Street and Stratford, where trains will use new tunnels to connect to the central section of the route.
The western branches operate over part of the Great Western Main Line and the Heathrow tunnel between Paddington and Heathrow for 16 miles 38 chains (26.5 km), and entirely over the Great Western Main Line between Paddington and Reading for 36 miles (58 km). The future Elizabeth line route will retain the use of most of this track, except the portion between Paddington and Acton Main Line, where trains will use new tunnels to connect to the central section of the route.
|Opened||Managed from||Served from||Zone||Local authority|
|Reading||30 March 1840||Managed by Network Rail||15 December 2019||N/A[a]||Reading|
|Twyford||1 July 1839||Managed by Great Western Railway||Wokingham|
|Maidenhead||1 November 1871||Windsor and Maidenhead|
|Taplow||1 September 1872||May 2018||Buckinghamshire|
|Burnham||1 July 1899||Slough|
|Slough||8 September 1884||Managed by Great Western Railway|
|Iver||1 December 1924||Buckinghamshire|
|West Drayton||4 June 1838||6||Hillingdon|
|Heathrow Terminal 5[b]||27 March 2008||Managed by Heathrow Express||Diversions only[b]|
|Heathrow Terminal 4||23 June 1998||May 2018|
|Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3|
|Hayes & Harlington||1864 or 1868||May 2018||5|
|Southall||1 May 1839||4||Ealing|
|Hanwell||1 December 1838|
|West Ealing||4 June 1838||3|
|Ealing Broadway||1 December 1838|
|Acton Main Line||1 February 1868|
|Paddington||4 June 1838||Managed by Network Rail||1||City of Westminster|
|Liverpool Street||2 October 1874||31 May 2015||City of London|
|Stratford||20 June 1839||Managed by TfL||2/3||Newham|
|Maryland||6 January 1873||31 May 2015||3|
|Manor Park||6 January 1873||3/4|
|Ilford||20 June 1839||4||Redbridge|
|Seven Kings||1 March 1899|
|Goodmayes||8 February 1901|
|Chadwell Heath||11 January 1864||5|
|Gidea Park||1 December 1910|
|Harold Wood||1 December 1868|
|Brentwood||1 July 1840||9||Brentwood|
|Shenfield||29 March 1843||Managed by Greater Anglia||C|
|Abbey Wood||30 July 1849||23 October 2017||Not served by TfL Rail[c]||4||Greenwich|
- Stations between Iver and Reading only accept contactless Pay-as-you-go and are therefore not in the Oyster zones
- Heathrow Terminal 5 is not officially served by TfL Rail, but services divert to this station when Heathrow Terminal 4 is closed, for example during the COVID-19 period
- TfL Rail does not provide any services at Abbey Wood, but the Elizabeth Line, its successor service, will do.
As of May 2020, the timetabled Monday–Saturday off-peak service pattern is :
|Liverpool Street to Shenfield||6||Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood
During peak times, service frequency is doubled with supplementary services terminating at Gidea Park and calling patterns are varied, with some stations omitted on certain services.
On Sundays frequency is reduced to 4 trains per hour between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
|Reading and Heathrow branches|
|Paddington to Reading||2||Ealing Broadway, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, West Drayton, Iver, Langley, Slough, Burnham, Taplow, Maidenhead, Twyford
During peak times, service frequency increases up to 4 trains per hour.
|Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 4[a]||4||Acton Main Line (2tph), Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3|
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Carriages||Number||Routes operated||Built||Years in operation|
|Class 315||EMU||75||120||4||19||Liverpool Street–Shenfield||1980–81||May 2015–present|
|Class 345 Aventra||90||145||7 or 9||70||2015–19||June 2017–present|
|Class 360 Desiro||100||160||5||5||Paddington–Heathrow Terminal 4||2002-05||May 2018–August 2020|
TfL Rail took over operations from Abellio Greater Anglia on 31 May 2015. TfL Rail subsequently introduced a fleet of new Class 345 trains. On 22 June 2017, Class 345 trains entered passenger service on the Shenfield branch.
The Class 315 trains will continue to be maintained at the existing Ilford depot, but the Class 345 trains will be maintained at Old Oak Common and Ilford depots.
TfL Rail inherited five Class 360 units from Heathrow Connect when it took over operations on 20 May 2018. These trains will be used to operate the existing half-hourly (2tph) service to Heathrow. On 30 July 2020, Class 345 trains entered passenger service on the Heathrow branch.
On 26 September 2019, TfL Rail announced that it would take over the Paddington to Reading stopping services on 15 December 2019, using Class 345 trains in place of the Class 387 and Class 165 trains used by Great Western Railway. Before that, on 25 November 2019 six GWR services a day started to operate using Class 345 trains, operated by TfL, to get drivers ready and stock in place for the main 15 December switch over.
- "TfL Rail: What we do". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "MTR Crossrail - Crossrail Rolling Stock".
- Smith, Howard. "Crossrail – Moving to the Operating Railway Rail and Underground Panel 12 February 2015" (PDF). 12 February 2015. Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Jobson, Robert (23 February 2016). "Crossrail named the Elizabeth line: Royal title unveiled as the Queen visits Bond Street station". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "TfL Rail". Transport for London. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- TfL announces shortlist of bidders to run Crossrail services Crossrail 25 June 2013
- Crossrail shortlist reveals four contenders Rail News 25 June 2013
- TfL announces MTR to run Crossrail services Crossrail 18 July 2014
- MTR Corporation wins £1.4 billion contract to run Crossrail services Rail Technology Magazine 18 July 2014
- Blackburn, Ralph (25 May 2015). "TfL to take over Abellio Greater Anglia lines from May 31". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "First '345' reaches Heathrow". Key Modern Railways. 30 July 2020.
- "Our Plan to Complete the Elizabeth Line". Crossrail. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "TfL Rail timetables". Transport for London. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
- "Passengers set to benefit as key commuter rail services transfer to TfL". Transport for London. 21 May 2015.
- Crossrail rolling stock and depot contract to be awarded to Bombardier Department for Transport 6 February 2014
- Bombardier wins Crossrail train contract Railway Gazette 6 February 2014
- "The future of cross-London travel arrives". Transport for London. 22 June 2017.
- "Crossrail: The Western Approach". London Reconnections.
- "TfL Rail to operate services to Reading from 15 December". Transport for London. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- Rosehill, Harry (26 November 2019). "Crossrail Trains Have Started Running To Reading...Early!". Londonist. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to TfL Rail.|
Abellio Greater Anglia
East Anglia franchise
31 May 2015
| Operator of Crossrail concession
Great Western Railway
Greater Western franchise
15 December 2019
Heathrow Airport Holdings & Great Western Railway
20 May 2018