With thanks to Jonathan Baggs MCIPR for this poem and allowing us to republish it on the anniversary of the final stage opening of the Elizabeth line 24 May 2022.
Twas the Night before Crossrail, and all through the town
The Platforms stood ready, some 100ft down.
Roundels, display screens, maps, set out with care
For thousands of passengers soon to be there.
The new trains were nestled all snug in their sidings,
Ready to move out at five-minute timings;
Commuters and tourists were ready to master
Nine brand-new stations… and Bond Street soon after.
It’s been a long wait: thirty years in the making,
But the passenger journey will now be breath-taking:
Bright stations, time savings, and better connections,
New possibilities in every location.
Three years of tunnelling in deep London clay
To dig out the spoil for the new railway:
But 3 million tonnes would then guarantee
A nature reserve for the RSPB
Then services start on the Elizabeth Line
The 6.30 from Paddington leaving on time:
The 200 metre-long nine-car formation
Gently accelerates out of the station.
The West End, The City, and Eastwards it races
With WiFi and air-con and accessible spaces.
The passengers exit or interchange lines,
Making their journey in much shorter times.
We glide to Abbey Wood on the Bexley border
Waiting for checks to see all is in order.
After many more journeys she goes out of sight
‘Merry Crossrail to all, and to all a good night’.
To hear a few stanzas set to speech, click on the arrow in the image below – it will open a Twitter window, but a Twitter account is not necessary to view or listen (narration and images courtesy of BBC London):
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