Transport for London (TfL) is advising customers using the Elizabeth line that an upcoming weekend closure may cause some disruption to their journeys. Parts of the line will be closed on Saturday 25 November and Sunday 26 November as essential maintenance works are completed by Heathrow Airport, Network Rail and TfL.
Due to planned Heathrow engineering works on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November, the Elizabeth line and Heathrow Express will not be running to Heathrow Airport all weekend. Piccadilly line trains will be operating between central London and Heathrow as normal, serving Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 and Terminal 4, but they are likely to be busier than usual and no trains will run to or from Heathrow Terminal 5. An inter-terminal transfer bus service will be running between Terminals 2 & 3 and Terminal 5, starting from Heathrow Central Bus station. Passengers wishing to travel between Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 can use the free H30 bus or TfL buses 482 and 490 between Hatton Cross, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.
On the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood, there will be no service all weekend (25 and 26 November) while planned maintenance including work to deliver mobile coverage takes place. While these stations are closed, teams will be continuing work to provide mobile connectivity to customers in the tunnelled section of the railway, which can only be done when the line is powered down in order to allow safe access, as well as at stations along the line. This work will support the entire line having high-speed mobile coverage by the end of spring 2024, with the first stations still on track to have 4G mobile coverage by the end of the year.
As Liverpool Street and Whitechapel Elizabeth line stations will be closed for the routine maintenance, Elizabeth line services will run between Shenfield and Liverpool Street National Rail station all weekend where customers can change for the Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines as well as London Overground, other rail services and local buses. On Saturday 25 November Elizabeth line trains from the west will terminate at Paddington National Rail station where customers can change for the Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines as well as local buses.
On Sunday 26 November, due to Network Rail signalling upgrades and work for HS2 at Old Oak Common, rail replacement buses will run west of Ealing Broadway in the morning with limited train services starting later in the day. Paddington National Rail station will be closed all day, so customers travelling into London, from the west of England will all need to change at Ealing Broadway for services into central London on the Central or District lines.
The Elizabeth line and Heathrow Express closures mean more passengers will be using other lines and it is expected that the Central, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines will be extremely busy. During the afternoon and evening, staff may need to restrict entry to some central London and West End stations to ensure they do not become overcrowded. Buses in some areas may also be busier than usual, so customers are advised to consider walking short distances between stations if they can.
Howard Smith, Elizabeth line Director, said: “We appreciate it is a complex weekend of closures with Network Rail, TfL and Heathrow Airport all carrying out works which may cause some disruption to customers. These works were planned several months in advance and should help ensure that the Elizabeth line infrastructure operates reliably. Network Rail and HS2 are also preparing for their new railway and station at Old Oak Common which will also mean some future closures. I apologise for any impact on journeys over the weekend and would advise customers to check before they travel using TfL’s travel tools, and plan in advance as trains and rail replacement buses may be busy.”
The Piccadilly line is also closed between Acton Town and Uxbridge on 25 and 26 November. This is to continue the programme of replacing track to ensure that the service is as reliable as possible. The Metropolitan line will still operate to Uxbridge as usual, and rail replacement buses will run between Rayners Lane and Acton Town.
Photo credit: Transport for London