TfL Rail is the concession of 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 in 2021. 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|
|Locale||Greater London, Berkshire and Essex|
|Transit type||Suburban/Commuter rail|
|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)|
|Electrification||25 kV AC overhead lines|
TfL Rail was introduced in 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.
The line will be renamed the Elizabeth line when the central section opens in March 2021, with the current branches connecting up with the core in later 2021.
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 Crossrail 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).
|Station||Zone||Local authority||Interchanges||Managed by|
|Abbey Wood[a]||4||Greenwich||NR||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Acton Main Line||3||Ealing||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Chadwell Heath||5||Redbridge||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Ealing Broadway||3||Ealing||NR||LU||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Forest Gate||3||Newham||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Gidea Park||6||Havering||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Harold Wood||6||Havering||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Hayes & Harlington||5||Hillingdon||NR||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3
|Heathrow Terminal 4||6||Hillingdon||-||LU||-||-||Heathrow Express|
|Iver||-||South Bucks||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Liverpool Street||1||City of London||NR||LU||LO||-||Network Rail|
|Paddington||1||City of Westminster||NR||LU||-||-||Network Rail|
|Maidenhead||-||Windsor and Maidenhead||NR||-||-||-||GWR|
|Manor Park||3/4||Newham||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Seven Kings||4||Redbridge||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|Taplow||-||South Bucks||-||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|West Drayton||6||Hillingdon||NR||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
|West Ealing||3||Ealing||NR||-||-||-||TfL Rail|
- TfL Rail does not provide any services at Abbey Wood
The typical 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 increased and calling patterns are varied, with some stations omitted on certain services.
On Sundays there are typically 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 Hayes & Harlington||2||Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Southall|
|Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 4||2||Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3
Skips West Ealing and Hanwell on Sundays
|Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 to Heathrow Terminal 4||2||shuttle|
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Carriages||Number||Routes operated||Built||Years in operation|
|Class 315||EMU||75||120||4||24||Liverpool Street - Shenfield||1980–81||May 2015–present|
|Class 345 Aventra||90||145||7 or 9||70||Liverpool Street - Shenfield
Paddington - Hayes & Harlington
Paddington - Reading
|Class 360 Desiro||
||100||160||5||5||Paddington - Heathrow Terminal 4||2002-05||May 2018–present|
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 while the Class 345 units will initially supplement this with a half-hourly (2tph) service to Hayes & Harlington, a service formerly operated by Great Western Railway Class 387 units. Class 345 trains will run on the route from 2020.
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.
- "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)
- "Liverpool Street to Shenfield (TfL Rail)" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Paddington to Heathrow Airport/Reading (TfL Rail)" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Paddington to Heathrow Airport (TfL Rail)" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- 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
- "Crossrail: The Western Approach". London Reconnections.
- Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "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
2015 – 2019
Great Western Railway
Greater Western franchise
15 December 2019
Heathrow Airport Holdings & Great Western Railway
20 May 2018