Crossrail: Why Paddington will grow to be one among London’s most complicated underground stations when the Elizabeth line opens

Crossrail: Why Paddington will grow to be one among London’s most complicated underground stations when the Elizabeth line opens

You’ve probably heard about how complicated Bank/Monument is, or how there are some sneaky shortcuts to navigate the mazes of King’s Cross St. Pancras, but there’s one station that will get so counterintuitive, you might think , it’s a joke. It is one of London’s largest and busiest train stations and the gateway to our largest airport, Paddington.

Paddington has always been a rather eccentric terminal – it has no platform 13, it has given birth to a fictional bear said to be from Peru, and its day-to-day operations and staff recently became the subject of a popular Channel 5 TV series Paddington 24/ 7″. . The arrival of the new Elizabeth line (aka Crossrail) at the new terminal will also add a temporary layer of eccentricity to the trove of transport-related trivia.

When the Elizabeth line opens on May 24th it will operate in three separate sections – two of which will start/end in Paddington. The western section (trains to Reading and Heathrow) will continue to use platforms 11, 12 and 14 on the mainline part of the station, but the new, middle section (trains to Abbey Wood via Liverpool Street) will use other platforms, labeled A and B located in a new, underground part of the station, accessible from outside the mainline station entrance.

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This tunnel connects the Bakerloo line to the Elizabeth line at Paddington – but if you’re catching an Elizabeth line train to Reading or Heathrow it’s better to follow the signs for National Rail until 2023.

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This means you can take the Elizabeth Line from two different parts of the station – you’ll need to find the right one depending on your destination. Yes, it’s confusing, but for Paddington it’s double trouble. This is because the same situation occurs on the London Underground Circle line.

The Circle line was originally circular and only served Paddington tube station on Praed Street until 2009. However the line was then extended to Hammersmith, duplicating the Hammersmith & City line, meaning it now again served Paddington with the Hammersmith & City line platforms at Central Station numbered 15 and 16.

As a result, starting this May, you can take the Circle Line and the Elizabeth Line in two different directions from two different parts of the station. To make navigation easier for beginners, Network Rail and TfL signage at the station appears to indicate the various services as ‘Circle Line via King’s Cross’ and ‘Circle Line via Victoria’, as well as ‘Elizabeth Line trains to Heathrow and Reading’ and ‘Elizabeth Line “Mark trains to Abbey Wood and Shenfield”.

What do you think of navigation in Paddington? Tell us in the comments below.

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