Woolwich is transformed by the Elizabeth Line

WOOLWICH locals say the Elizabeth line will change the area for good as the new station finally opened its doors on Tuesday morning. Thousands of commuters have travelled to and from Woolwich  as they enjoyed faster commutes.

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

Jeff Miller came from Bath to have a look at the dazzling new Woolwich station. CREDIT: Kiro Evans - free to use

Jeff Miller came from Bath to have a look at the dazzling new Woolwich station. CREDIT: Kiro Evans – free to use

“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.”

Train fanatic Nick, who did not give a second name, was equally excited. He said: “I’ve been looking forward to it for ages. We’ve just come out today, I don’t even need to go anywhere! I love train lines, I’ve followed everything to do with crossrail, all the engineering programmes, mainly because we knew it was coming to Woolwich and we lived here for a long time.

Despite periods of rain, the new Woolwich Station saw a carnival-like atmosphere outside as locals rode the Elizabeth Line for the very first time. CREDIT: Kiro Evans - free to use

Despite periods of rain, the new Woolwich Station saw a carnival-like atmosphere outside as locals rode the Elizabeth Line for the very first time. CREDIT: Kiro Evans – free to use

“It’s such a massive feat, unbelievable what they’ve done. I don’t think people will ever quite fully appreciate what’s been involved, unfortunately it’s the delays that people will remember.

“But for us getting into Heathrow in under an hour, getting into central London in 20-25 minutes. It’s going to be brilliant. DLR is great but this is going to be another level.”

The Elizabeth Line attracted train spotters 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.

Travellers hailed the new train line as being quiet, clean and smelling nice. CREDIT: Kiro Evans - free to use

Travellers hailed the new train line as being quiet, clean and smelling nice. CREDIT: Kiro Evans – free to use

Speaking at Abbey Wood 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 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 arrived from Bath to see the new train, and at Woolwich station paid tribute to the “speed and smoothness” of the journeys. He added: ” I come into London frequently but I made sure I came in on the first day as I didn’t want to miss this!”

The London Mayor was at the centre of a media scrum as he visited the new Woolwich Elizabeth Line station. CREDIT: Kiro Evans - free to use

The London Mayor was at the centre of a media scrum as he visited the new Woolwich Elizabeth Line station. CREDIT: Kiro Evans – free to use

Sadiq Khan was one of the visitors to the Woolwich station on its opening morning as the London Mayor toured the new line. The Elizabeth Line has finally opened after four years of delays and several billions of pounds over budget.

The prime minister yesterday told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he believed the new transport system would be “responsible for an additional £90bn of GDP for the whole country.”

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