February 23, 2016 / 4:48 PM / 3 years ago

London's new rail line to be named after Queen Elizabeth

Britain's Queen Elizabeth attends the formal unveiling of the new logo for Crossrail, which is to be named the Elizabeth line, at the construction site of the Bond Street station in central London, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Pohle/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - London’s new railway link, the largest infrastructure project in Europe which will connect east and west London, is to be named after Queen Elizabeth, the British capital’s mayor announced on Tuesday.

The 15 billion pound ($21 billion) Crossrail as it is currently known will be named as the Elizabeth Line in tribute to the 89-year-old queen when it comes into service in 2018.

“I think its truly wonderful that such a significant line for our capital will carry such a significant name from our country,” London mayor Boris Johnson said. “As well as radically improving travel right across our city, the Elizabeth line will provide a lasting tribute to our longest-serving monarch.”

The announcement was made as the queen visited one of the stations and met workers involved in the marathon digging operation for the 42 km (26 miles) of new tunnels for the railway which will travel under central London.

The queen was the first reigning monarch to travel on the London underground and the Elizabeth line is the second track to be named in her honor; the Jubilee Line underground line was given its name to mark her 25th year on the throne in 1977.

When open the new line will connect Heathrow Airport to London’s main shopping district, the City of London and Canary Wharf, with 24 trains per hour running in each direction.

($1 = 0.7093 pounds)

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton

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