Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line will launch in the following stages:
- Phase 0 – May 2015 – TfL takes control of the Liverpool St (high level) to Shenfield line, a single section with no forks.
- Phase 1 – May 2017 (above) – The new Crossrail trains start to appear on the Liverpool St (high level) to Shenfield line, a single section with no forks.
- Phase 2 – May 2018 – TfL takes control of the Heathrow to Paddington (high level) line and introduces Crossrail trains to it. TfL Rail is now two disconnected sections with no forks.
- Phase 3 – December 2018 (above) – Services start running from Paddington (low level) to Abbey Wood, via Liverpool Street (low level). Services formally switch from being branded as TfL Rail to being the Elizabeth line. First trains through the centre. Crossrail has three disconnected sections, and no forks.
- Phase 4 – May 2019 – Trains from Paddington (low level) to Shenfield, joining the existing service to Abbey Wood. Crossrail has two disconnected sections, with the eastern section forking twice. (The second eastern fork is a reverse one – a small number of trains will continue to start from Liverpool Street (high level) to Shenfield, missing Whitechapel and joining at Stratford.)
- Phase 5 – December 2019 (above) – Full services running, all via Paddington (low level) and Liverpool Street (low level), from Reading too Shenfield and from Heathrow to Abbey Wood. Crossrail is a single, connected railway, with a fork to the west and two forks to the east.