Opinion

TfL marketing chief lifts the lid on Elizabeth line launch

From dealing with Boris and the Queen to finding yet another colour, TfL marketing director Chris Macleod reflects on the rebranding of Crossrail to the Elizabeth line.

Stretching from Reading and Heathrow in the West to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East, the Elizabeth line will transform travel across London for over 200m passengers per year. It is therefore appropriate that the largest construction project ever undertaken across Europe is named after the UK’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The purple addition to TfL’s collection of iconic roundels will provide a lasting legacy to Her Majesty the Queen, almost fifty years after she became the first reigning monarch to travel on the Underground in 1969. The announcement made at the Bond Street worksite, one of the pivotal stations on the Elizabeth line, has been met with approval from Londoners and tourists alike, with the line scheduled to open both on time, and in budget, by December 2018.

Almost 200 people representing areas from across the entire project attended the event five floors below ground

In keeping with having line names across our network, the Mayor of London suggested that it would be a fitting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen to name Crossrail the Elizabeth line. It was discussed with TfL and the Queen subsequently approved the idea last year. We were delighted that she also agreed to visit the under-construction station at Bond Street to officially unveil the name and the new roundel logo. 

The launch event was special for all those who attended – with the Queen meeting a wide range of people involved with the construction of the railway, including a number of young apprentices. She also spoke with some of the train staff who will drive the line’s 200 metre long trains. Almost 200 people representing areas from across the entire project attended the event five floors below ground.                        

There has been a great public and media reaction with many national, international and trade press covering the story. There’s also been a great response on social media, with #Elizabethline trending on Twitter. The line is going to make travelling across London much easier, and will help us continue to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population.

Queen Elizabeth II gave the Elizabeth line her approval

TfL uses colour in a very purposeful way to assist customers with way finding and navigation – any new colours introduced have to be very carefully considered, as we are working from a finite palette. The Elizabeth line purple was selected as being distinctly different to the red of the Underground and the individual line colours as well as the Orange of the London Overground ensuring the service is clearly identified by customers. It was a happy coincidence that the colour is also associated with the Royal family.

Subject to Her Majesty’s approval, we plan to place a permanent reminder of this week’s historic announcement at the newly constructed Bond Street station when it opens for passenger service.