As Crossrail moves towards completion it isn’t long now until local services along stations throughout Ealing see new trains running under the Elizabeth Line banner.
Under current plans, current Heathrow Connect services from London Paddington to Heathrow will convert to Crossrail in May 2018. Not much will change initially except trains will be longer. Out go the current five-carriage trains (with the world’s slowest opening doors) and in come longer Crossrail trains up to nine carriages long with walk-through carriages.
Indeed, testing of these trains is expected any day now.
This change isses the first baby steps for Crossrail in West London. The hope is train reliability will improve so as to handle far more intensive services due by the end of 2019, when trains will head to Heathrow and Reading in one direction, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the other via Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and more. Passengers will see large reductions in travelling time.
Not just Crossrail
But it’s not just Crossrail replacing Heathrow Connect services that will bring improvements. Electric trains are replacing diesel on Great Western routes.
Over the past year three or four carriage diesel trains have been replaced by new electric trains up to eight carriages long between Paddington and Hayes and Harlington.
In coming months suburban stopping trains to Didcot and Reading will become electric and eight carriages as 45 new trains arrive from bombardier’s factory in Derby. The last one just rolled off the production line.
This will offer a big improvement to long suffering commuters throughout west London.