Southend Airport has welcomed the opening of the hotly-anticipated Elizabeth Line as commuters in south Essex are one step closer to improved train links.

The new line runs from Shenfield to London and provides access to key stations, such as Paddington and even Reading. 

It is initially operating as three separate railways, before services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels from autumn this year. 

When the final stage is complete, customers will be able to travel seamlessly from Abbey Wood to Heathrow and Reading, and from Shenfield to Heathrow.

Read more >>> Will the new Elizabeth line opening in Essex improve my journey? What you need to know

Southend Airport has welcomed the move, which will be a huge boost once the line is fully connected.

Due to Greater Anglia’s direct service between Shenfield and the airport - which takes just 27 minutes - bosses are hoping flyers from across London, and further afield, will start to use the airport.


Following yesterday’s launch, the airport posted on Facebook: “Rail to our Runway just got even easier. More than 100,000 passengers have already ridden Elizabeth Line rails since its opening this morning.

“The new line enables yet another excellent rail connection for London Southend Airport.”

Read more >>> 'Feels good to be back' - how passengers reacted to easyJet's flights from Southend

This added connection for the airport comes as easyJet flights have returned with a new summer schedule.

It includes four flights a week from Southend to Majorca, six to Malaga and two to Faro between May and October.

This return has been a massive boost for the airport in its post-pandemic recovery and it is hoped the new Elizabeth Line will encourage even more flyers to take advantage of the newly added easyJet routes.

Despite opening four years later than expected, crowds gathered at key stations along the line yesterday to catch a glimpse of the first few trains. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the opening of the Elizabeth Line and said it was one of many projects which will boost infrastructure around the country. 

He said: “As the Elizabeth Line opens to the public, we know it’s not just Londoners that will reap the rewards, but the whole country – because better transport grows the economy, levels up opportunity, and creates jobs.

“Just last week, official figures showed that under this Government unemployment has fallen to the lowest level in nearly half a century, just 3.7 per cent, which shows our drive to get people into jobs is working.

“And we’re going further and faster to ensure that by investing in infrastructure right across the UK. Our massive transport projects will get the nation firing on all pistons again as we recover from the pandemic.”