Hundreds gather to be among first passengers on new Elizabeth Tube Line

A crowd of around 300 people stood and queued ahead of the line’s opening at 6.30am.

Pa Reporters
Tuesday 24 May 2022 10:26
Mayor of London Saiq Khan (right) and Andy Byford, Commissioner at Transport for London (Tfl) disembark the first Elizabeth line train (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Mayor of London Saiq Khan (right) and Andy Byford, Commissioner at Transport for London (Tfl) disembark the first Elizabeth line train (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Hundreds of people gathered in central London on Tuesday morning in an attempt to be among the first passengers on the new Elizabeth Tube line.

Transport enthusiasts hailed the “momentous occasion”, having travelled from across the country for the ceremony and queued from the early hours of the morning.

Around 300 people queued outside Paddington Station ahead of the service’s opening at 6.30am, and the crowd cheered and rushed forwards when the doors opened at around 6.20am.

The first train departed on time at 6.33am carrying hundreds of excited passengers.

Crowds wait in line to board the first Elizabeth line train to carry passengers at Paddington Station, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Colin Kelso, 18, travelled down from Glasgow for the event and wore a hoody emblazoned with “Purple train” on the front, in a nod to the line’s colour scheme.

He told the PA news agency: “I want to get on the first train.

“I’ve always liked trains and have been keeping up to date with the project.”

Danny McLaren, 21, from Edinburgh, arrived at Paddington at 1.30am, and described the event as “an epic day”.

“We’ve known it will open for a while,” he told PA.

“It’s a brand new railway. New technology. New trains.

“It’s an epic day to experience it when it’s brand new.”

Crossrail route (PA Graphics)

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who also travelled on the first train, said: “It’s a landmark day.

“I’m excited. I’m like the little boy before Christmas.”

He said the Elizabeth line is a “game-changer” that will “transform our city”.

He added that the trains are “fit for a Queen” after her Majesty visited Paddington last week to mark the completion of the Crossrail project.

The Queen unveils a plaque to mark the Elizabeth line’s official opening at Paddington station (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Another passenger, Hakim Colclough, 24, from Chessington, Surrey, said: “This is a momentous occasion.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Colin Farmer, 84, from Croydon, south-east London, arrived at 4.30am.

Undated Marylebone Boys’ School handout photo of art work by pupils from Marylebone Boys’ School (Marylebone Boys’ School/PA)

He said: “It’s history. It’s about time there were trains right through London without changing to the Underground.

“I’m very excited. We’ve been waiting long enough for it.

“It’s a great achievement.”

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