London's new Elizabeth Line has diagonal lifts

Transport bosses say sideways design is cheaper and will save on energy

New incline lifts at a Crossrail station in London were cheaper to install and should save on power compared with vertical lifts. Photo: Crossrail
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Some lifts at some stations on London's new Elizabeth Line will go sideways, not straight up, due to their diagonal design that is cheaper to build and will save on energy.

The new east-to-west Crossrail line will eventually link Heathrow to south-east London and add an additional 10 per cent to the underground's capacity.

London's transport bosses on Wednesday finally announced operations would commence on May 24, nearly four years after the line was initially planned to open.

Prospective riders have been particularly impressed by four new incline lifts installed at Farringdon and Liverpool Street stations.

Images show how the lifts move sideways alongside the escalators rather than vertically.

Engineers say the design negates the need for the costly excavation of a lift shaft and will reduce power consumption by nearly 50 per cent.

Transport for London (TfL) said the installation of the sideways lifts are part of its promise to provide step-free access on all 41 stations on the new Elizabeth Line.

The new lifts can be seen in action in Liverpool Street and Farringdon stations. Photo: Crossrail

It is not the first time that the sloping design has been put into action on London's transport network.

Sideways lifts were first installed at Greenford Station on the Central Line in 2015 when TfL realised the benefits of the diagonal design.

“The new incline lift is spacious, quick, and provides much-needed step-free access to our customers at Greenford”, said London Underground's Director of Engineering.

“It is cheaper to install and cheaper to run and I am hopeful we can introduce this innovation elsewhere on the Tube network in the future.”

Crossrail added: “All Crossrail stations in central London will have step-free access from street to train. The new incline lifts offer an added benefit by allowing groups travelling together to have passengers with wheelchairs, buggies or large baggage to take an incline lift while friends and family take an escalator directly alongside.”

Crossrail was initially scheduled to open in December 2018 but its opening was help up by construction setbacks and issues with safety testing and signalling systems.

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Updated: May 05, 2022, 3:59 PM