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Monday, January 30, 2023

Passengers and trainspotters hail opening of new Elizabeth Line – South London News

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By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

People in Woolwich said the Elizabeth Line will change the area for good as the new station finally opened its doors this morning.

The new line is set to slash travel times for many people, and provide more access to Central London, Berkshire and Essex.

And people in Woolwich – and train enthusiasts passing through – were united in their excitement for what this could bring to the area.

Charlie Hampshire, who lives minutes from the new station, said it could help promote Woolwich to outsiders.

She said: “It looks great and although everyone says it’s taken forever to open, better late than never, to be honest.

“It opens up the Woolwich arts district more and for me it’s easier as I can commute into town.

“I think it’s really good and there’s so much stuff around this area, which is why I love it.”

Charlie Hampshire (Picture: Kiro Evans)

The Elizabeth Line attracted trainspotters from across the country, including Paul Stone, from Derbyshire.

The self-confessed train spotter was up at 4.30am and had spent the morning travelling, boarding the new train.

Speaking at Abbey Wood railway station, Paul hailed said the ambitious new train line would be life-changing for many.

He said: “From here if you commute from here to Tottenham Court Road, what a hell of a journey on normal trains.

“Probably two changes and it might take an hour or so. Where from here to Paddington it’s only 29 minutes. It’s incredible – it will change people’s lives.”

Jeff Miller (Picture: Kiro Evans)

Jeff Miller arrived from Bath to see the new train, and at Woolwich railway station he paid tribute to the “speed and smoothness” of the journeys.

He said: “I come into London frequently but I made sure I came in on the first day as I didn’t want to miss this.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was one of the visitors to the Woolwich station on its opening morning.

The Elizabeth Line has finally opened after four years of delays and after going several billions of pounds over budget.”

Pictured top: The London Mayor Sadiq Khan was at the centre of a media scrum as he visited the new Woolwich Elizabeth Line railway station (Picture: Kiro Evans)

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