London’s new high-speed railway, Elizabeth line, opened to passengers today, with hundreds braving queues for the first journey from Paddington through central London on the line originally known as Crossrail. The train is hoped to usher in a new era of greater speed, space and comfort for travel in London.
Reducing journey times to the venue by up to two thirds, the first trains arrived at ExCeL London’s own dedicated station (Custom House) this morning where passengers were met by CEO Jeremy Rees.
Organisers from the first two events to benefit were also on hand to take part in a seminal ribbon cutting, whilst the night before, the Royal Docks venue lit up purple in honour of the launch.
In addition to its two existing DLR stops, the new Custom House Elizabeth line station further cements ExCeL’s reputation as one of the world’s most connected venues, with delegates able to travel from central London to the venue in as little as 12 minutes. International delegates will be able to travel from Heathrow Airport to ExCeL in only 43 minutes.
Laura Shapiro, Group Event Director at CloserStill Media who organises Oncology Professional Care, said: “We have a long and successful history of hosting events at ExCeL and the opening of the Elizabeth line is a fantastic addition to what is already a world-class venue. We expect the new line to lead to an increase in footfall for our events but also a higher proportion of C-Suite delegates and healthcare professionals.”
Greg Hitchen, Group Chief Executive of Terrapinn who runs Advanced Therapies Live, said: “We’re delighted by the opening of the new Elizabeth line – a new ‘events superhighway’ for London. With more than 100 of the hottest, most interesting ATMP start-ups attending our event this week, the new line will undoubtedly allow more time for our visitors and exhibitors to learn, network and trade.”
With ExCeL hosting 350 events this year, hundreds of shows will benefit from the new Elizabeth line. Katy Fryatt, Launch Director at Hyve Group, organisers of Shoptalk Europe 2022 which takes place at ExCeL from 6-8 June, said: “Shoptalk is the world’s largest community of retail changemakers with our Europe event attracting more than 3,000 attendees from some of the largest retailers and global brands. London is home to so many of these skilled decision-makers and the opening of the Elizabeth line means ExCeL becomes even easier to travel to, combined with an expanded catchment area translating to even more professionals who are now based within 45 minutes journey time.”
Nicole Mills from RX and the Exhibition Director at Infosecurity Group (21-23 June) added: “As Europe’s most influential information and cybersecurity event, we took the decision to move to ExCeL for 2022 to allow us to offer increased value and versatility to our customers. The opening of the Elizabeth Line just before our event this year is fantastic, enabling us to offer greater connectivity to our customers within and outside the UK.”
ExCeL London is nominated as Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre 2022 by World Travel Awards.