12 FEBRUARY 2018


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Article from BTNews 12 FEBRUARY 2018

COMMENT:The Elizabeth Line

In December 2018 the Elizabeth Line is due to open between a new sub-surface station at Paddington and Abbey Wood. It will surface from under the London City Airport runway and dive under the Thames stopping at Woolwich before completing its journey.  Trains will travel from Abbey Wood to Paddington where a change will need to be made if your destination is Heathrow. Through trains to that airport and the west are promised for later next year. 

The Elizabeth Line does not stop at London City Airport!

The new railway then runs along the track of the old North London Line, and past the site of the Silvertown for London City Airport station.  At that point the terminal entrance is little over 100m, very easy flat walk, far less than is the slog to the gate at most international gateways. And no distance once inside the building.

Why no station?  You might wish to ask the previous Mayor of London.  Crossrail was begun during his tenure.

If London City Airport is to meet its target of six million passengers in the coming years it will need the Elizabeth Line to attract passengers direct from London’s West End, Kent and even Heathrow.

One solution, which will come after an expensive analysis and justification, is to build a station sometime in the 2020s, mainly at night and at an estimated cost of well over £100m.  It will cause much disruption.

But there is an easy way out of the problem. 

On the opening day let the trains go no further than Canary Wharf and reverse them. The track has been designed for a turnaround.  Customs House and Woolwich would not suffer as they already have DLR services.  Build the London City Airport station.  It will take no longer than six months of construction. And then maximise the PR with another grand opening. And yet another when the line opens past Paddington later in 2019. The new link for London is costing £15bn

The official TfL stance seems to be that Crossrail must concentrate on completing the line in time for Her Majesty to open in December. 

BTN agrees with that.  But let it only run from Paddington to Canary Wharf.

Possible train times from Silvertown for London City Airport based on a two-minute train journey to Custom House.

Custom House station entrance to ExCeL London is 1.5 miles from London City Airport with no public transport available.

Bond Street 19 minutes
Canary Wharf   5 minutes
Farringdon 14 minutes
Heathrow Central 47 minutes
Liverpool Street 12 minutes
Paddington 22 minutes
Tottenham Court Road 17 minutes
Whitechapel   9 minutes

Malcolm Ginsberg – editor in chief Business Travel News and publisher London City Airport - 30 Years Serving the Capital. 

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Ed Pooley, Isle of Man

As a regular user of LCY, I can confirm that despite longer trains, the DLR is not enough for the demand at peak times quite apart from the need for fast trains into London and onwards to Heathrow. I remember being appalled when the former LCY CE Declan Collier said at the Aviation Club that he wasn't bothered about the airport being by passed and that an additional LCY station could be added later. The proposal to do it now whilst its easy is spot on and needs to be supported strongly"!

Pete Lowson, United Kingdom

Shame it doesn’t stop at LCY. Unbelievably bad decision by that fool Boris Johnson. Just wish it had been called the Queen Elizabeth line. Sounds more proper.

Ken Brookes, UK - London

Of course you're absolutely correct about London City and the Elizabeth Line. But it isn't "PART OF" Crossrail. It IS Crossrail and will take than name overall on the day it's officially opened by Her Majesty.

David Starkie, United Kingdom

Very good idea. Perhaps LCY can get some muscle behind the suggestion (and a contribution). But why do (above ground) stations have to cost so much?