The second installment in my Future Step-Free Stations series, Existing Elizabeth Line Stations. If you haven’t already read the intro, feel free to start here first.
|Harold Wood||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Gidea Park||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Goodmayes||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Seven Kings||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Ilford||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||After line opens|
|Manor Park||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Forest Gate||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Maryland||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Spring to Summer 2018|
|Abbey Wood||Elizabeth||December 2018|
|Acton Main Line||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Delayed to mid-late 2019|
|Ealing Broadway||TfL Rail/Elizabeth, Central, District, Great Western||Delayed to mid-late 2019|
|West Ealing||TfL Rail/Elizabeth, Great Western||Delayed to mid-late 2019|
|Hanwell||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||December 2019|
|Southall||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||Delayed to mid-late 2019|
|Hayes & Harlington||TfL Rail/Elizabeth, Great Western||Delayed to mid-late 2019|
|West Drayton||TfL Rail/Elizabeth, Great Western||December 2019|
|Iver||TfL Rail/Elizabeth, Great Western||December 2019|
|Langley||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||December 2019|
|Taplow||TfL Rail/Elizabeth||December 2019|
These 19 stations make up the suburban portion of the upcoming Elizabeth line. They are above-ground stations originally built in Victorian times and are characterised by simple layouts and generally poor connections with other rail services. All of these stations are currently in use and are meant to become step-free before the complete launch of the line in December 2019. Abbey Wood, despite already being step-free and open to Southeastern services, is included in the list as its raised platforms for the Elizabeth line are still not in use.
As mentioned in my previous TfL Rail post, the stations on the eastern branch are at relatively advanced stages of construction compared to those on the western branch, which have been plagued by delays. Nevertheless, the fact that such a large number of consecutive stations will be step-free is a tremendous achievement that will open up travel opportunities for many Outer London residents.
Future step-free stations at the eastern (top) and western (bottom) portions of the Elizabeth Line
Unfortunately, as of now it is likely that manual boarding ramps will be required at all of these stations except Abbey Wood, due to the fact that the track will be shared by other services, such as local Great Western Railway and Greater Anglia trains, as well as passing freight trains. My hope is that this will eventually change and that level boarding becomes a greater priority, as both National Rail operators are slowly working towards a uniform suburban fleet that will be compatible with the Elizabeth line trains, as they all will be built by Bombardier.
New Elizabeth line train at Seven Kings
Finally, the few connections that these stations do have with other services will also be improved. For example, the redevelopment works at Ealing Broadway will bring step-free access to the Central and District lines, with at least the District line having level boarding. Similarly, the works at West Ealing will bring access to the long-neglected Greenford branch (more on this later).
Click here for the next part of the series, which covers the new part of the Elizabeth line!