An proposed expansion of the Elizabeth line could see the network reach parts of Kent.
If the new loop is created, it could see the line reach Ebbsfleet, Dartford and Gravesend. Thurrock Council in Essex is proposing an upgrade to its transport infrastructure and would like to add a 30-mile loop to the Elizabeth line.
It has laid out its plans for an expansion of rail through its borough, with an impact as far as Kent. One of the changes to be unveiled would be made to the Elizabeth Line, which currently is 73-miles long.
It runs from Essex in the east, to Berkshire in the west, cutting underground through central London. The Elizabeth line appears on London’s iconic underground map, but it is not classed as the Tube by Transport for London because it uses the National Rail network.
Under the proposal, the Elizabeth line from Romford would go under the Thames in a new tunnel to Gravesend, connecting with Eurostar at Ebbsfleet International/Northfleet. It would follow Thameslink services through Bluewater and Dartford in Kent before heading to Belvedere in south East London to the current Elizabeth line terminus in Abbey Wood.
these would require the support of City Hall, TfL and the Westminster government to get off the ground
This giant loop would be an extension of around 27 to 30 miles, depending on the location of the new tunnel under the Thames. Under the proposals, there would also be a stop at a new station in the Thurrock area. The new Thames rail crossing would also facilitate High Speed services to London via the Southeastern High Speed route according to the documents.
This would mean 140mph Javelin trains running from St Pancras International and Stratford International to Southend/Shoeburyness, using the current route to Gravesend, crossing the Thames to East Tilbury and following c2c rail services.
As with any infrastructure project in the UK, it is going to hit a number of issues before any work can commence. This would mean that even if the new line gets approval, it is still a number of years away. But it would give commuters in Kent an alternative route into London and beyond.
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