Chaos on the Elizabeth line… AGAIN
19th October 2023

Furious commuters demand investigation into Elizabeth Line as passengers are held for 40 minutes underground due to faulty doors after emergency rail works cause massive rush hour delays on the year-old TFL service

Furious commuters have today demanded an investigation into the Elizabeth Line after passengers claim they were held for 40 minutes underground, while others were more than an hour late for work due to emergency rail repairs.  

The disruption on the year-old Transport for London (TfL) service, which has resulted in no service between Paddington and Abbey Wood, infuriated passengers, who have questioned ‘is there a week when there has been no delays on the Elizabeth Line?’

Angry rail users slammed the service, calling for an investigation into the disruption. Meanwhile a Microsoft conference being held at the Excel Center in Central London had to be delayed because ‘to give people a chance’ to get there on time. 

Elsewhere Londoners have claimed they were ‘stuck underground’ for 40 minutes’ because ‘the doors at Paddington were broken’, while others complained of the havoc making them an hour late for work. 

The shiny new Crossrail tube service launched last May despite initial plans for it to start running in 2018. Since then disruption has continued, with commuters now facing years of havoc on the line after it emerged engineering work could take place until 2029.

One fed-up commuter begged this morning: ‘TfL an investigation is needed into the Elizabeth Line. Everyday there is severe disruption. Especially during the peak when we need to get to work or go home.

‘The incompetence of service recovery, it takes over six hours to recover a good service, unlike other lines.’ 

Commuters pack the Bond Street station platform during Elizabeth line disruption last week

Infuriated commuters took to social media this morning fed up with delays on the Elizabeth Line 

One infuriated passenger this morning wrote on X: ‘Another day of no Elizabeth Line, this is a complete joke. 

‘Several years late and billions over budget and it still doesn’t work and can’t be relied on!’

Another added: ‘No Elizabeth Line between Abbey Wood and Paddington again this morning. Make sure to check before leaving home.’

A third asked: ‘TfL, National Rail, is there a week when there has been no delays on the Elizabeth Line? Do you know people have jobs to go to? Delays on Monday morning, last night and now this.’

‘Elizabeth Line is going to have to have me screaming in the early AM,’ a fourth said.

Confirming the delays the TfL app said: ‘No service between Paddington and Abbey Wood due to emergency engineering work at Tottenham Court Road. MINOR DELAYS on the rest of the line.’ 

The £18.9billion TfL service was opened by a beaming Sadiq Khan and his colleagues, who posed for selfies as they took the first train.

Since then it has been plagued by reliability issues and ongoing strikes, with one in six trains on the service being cancelled or delayed this summer.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan poses for a selfie on the first Elizabeth line train on May 24, 2022

One angry commuter wrote: ‘Several years late and billions over budget and it still doesn’t work and can’t be relied on’

Others called for an investigation into the ‘incompetence’ of the service 

The delays resulted in a Microsoft conference being held at the Excel Center being pushed back

Last week National Rail apologised for the poor service, particularly out of Paddington, as passengers became more displeased. 

TfL meanwhile said there would be ‘significant challenges’ until new infrastructure was installed, which includes overhead power lines between Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

The works on the western section of the line could last a decade, Network Rail said. 

Officials are hoping to modernise overhead power cables between Paddington and Heathrow, with work set to take place between 2024 and 2029 – but this still requires final funding approval from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator.

Despite the poor reliability on the line, it continues to rise in popularity with a record 738,000 passengers clambering onboard on October 11.

More than 150million passenger journeys were made in its first year, with 56 per cent of these at the peak times of 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm on weekdays.

The Evening Standard reported last week that at a TfL customer service and operational performance panel meeting it discussed the ‘significant challenges’ expected on the line until the new rail infrastructure is installed.

Elizabeth Line director Howard Smith added that it would not ‘be a quick fix’ and that work will continue ‘next year and beyond’. 

Sophie Bancroft, operations director of Network Rail’s western routes, added: ‘It’s not a quick fix [but] it’s not going to be terrible for years.’

MailOnline has contacted TfL. 

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