With Crossrail's opening date just two weeks away, let's ask...
How long will interchanging to Crossrail take?
It's not a question we can fully answer given the new platforms and interconnecting passageways aren't open yet, but I've had a go at some approximate timings.
n.b. This is about interchanging from existing lines, not entering the station from the street.
n.b. Times are from the platform to 'as far as you can currently go'.
n.b. That's from the optimum spot on the platform, not the far end.
n.b. I haven't included the walk beyond the final barrier, which could be a few seconds or several minutes.
Think of this as the shortest time needed to enter the Crossrail zone, not the time to reach a train.
n.b. Times are approximate (at my walking pace).
n.b. I stood on escalators (I didn't walk up or down).
n.b. I didn't consider step-free routes.
Paddington: Bakerloo → Crossrail0 min
This'll be simple because a brand new connecting passageway will open between the Bakerloo platforms and Crossrail. You can already see in from the southbound platform and peer round the corner to the top of the escalators. But it's quite a long passageway so purple trains will still be a few minutes' walk away.
Paddington: District/Circle → Crossrail3 min
This is from the station on the original Circle line. From the northbound platform it's out through the ticket barriers, up to the main concourse of Paddington mainline station, through the milling crowds and out to the new Crossrail entrance below Eastbourne Terrace. But it'll still be a long way down from here. n.b. I also checked walking from the northbound platform to the new Bakerloo entrance instead, and that's also three minutes away.
Paddington: H&C/Circle → Crossrail5 min
This is from the far-flung station on the Hammersmith & City line. There are several possible routes across the mainline station and as yet no signage directing you one way or the other. To reach Crossrail via platform 8 (down the long ramp) takes five minutes. Absolutely nothing about interchanging at Paddington will be quick.
Bond StreetCentral/Jubilee → Crossrail
Tottenham Court Road: Northern → Crossrail30 sec
This'll be easy. If you're at the correct end of the platform the entrance is right there... up a short flight of steps, along a curving passageway and straight into the purple zone. The trains really are only just beyond, indeed this is possibly the best connection of the lot. Shame they hid the exit sign behind a next Train Indicator though.
Tottenham Court Road: Central → Crossrail2 min
Alas there's no direct connection here, you have to go out the normal way. That's up the escalators to the main ticket hall, exit through the gateline then re-enter through the gateline opposite. A long escalator down will follow, but that's where my stopwatch currently clicks off. n.b. If you're going the other way (from Crossrail to the Central line) it's 4 minutes, not 2, due to the Evil Overshoot Passage TfL now urge you to follow. If crowds allow, best ignore the 'No entry' sign and nip down the quick way.
n.b. If you ignore the purple signs you could choose to head via the Northern line instead. That's one minute, then you have to walk the entire length of the platform and then it's 30 seconds as before. This might turn out to be the quicker route.
Farringdon: Metropolitan/H&C/Circle → Crossrail2 min
This one's already fully signed so you can see clearly what they're planning... and it might be unexpected. When you get off the tube you'll be directed up the stairs to the old exit, then out through the barriers, across the street and back in through the new exit on the other side. A short escalator then takes you down to the back of the Thameslink platforms where the long Crossrail escalator begins. In brief, to make this connection they're sending you outside.
Farringdon: Thameslink → Crossrail1 min/15 sec
Interchange from Thameslink, however, and they keep you inside the station. Southbound you still have to go up and over but staying inside the gateline (1 min), but northbound is much easier because it's a short direct passage (15 sec). n.b. If you arrive by tube it might be tempting to cross over to the Thameslink side of the station to make your interchange, but it'll still take two minutes.
Barbican: Metropolitan/H&C/Circle → Crossrail
Still just that lonely lift at the far end of the westbound tube platform. Best not.
Moorgate: Metropolitan/H&C/Circle → Crossrail1 min/2 min
Arrive on the westbound platform and it's a simple minute up to the new ticket hall and the top of the big Crossrail escalators. Arrive on the eastbound platform and there's an annoying meandering subway to follow first.
Moorgate: Northern → Crossrail0 min
As things stand it's two minutes up to the 'annoying meandering subway', then another two to the new ticket hall - a total of four minutes. But you won't be going that way when Crossrail opens. Instead a link passage is being opened direct to the new ticket hall, but starting from the far end of the platform so expect it to be a bit of a trek. Tottenham Court Road's Northern line connection will be much better than this.
Liverpool Street: Metropolitan/H&C/Circle/Central → Crossrail1 min
The sole connection to Crossrail will be at the top of the Central line escalators, which is easily reached from all lines. As long as you alight at the right point on the platform it shouldn't take much more than a minute to get there.
Whitechapel: District/H&C → Crossrail2 min
To make this connection they're sending you up the stairs to the new central concourse, then down a lot of steps to follow the long passage above the Overground. They're not sending you via the Overground (and that's on the wrong level anyway).
Whitechapel: Overground → Crossrail30 sec
Easy so long as you're at the far end of the platform, but will require walking upstairs so that you can join the long escalators down.
Canary Wharf: Jubilee → Crossrail5 min
This is quite the hike. Don't be tempted by signs in the ticket hall nudging you back through the shopping mall because that's a contorted non-obvious route. Instead stride confidently towards the main escalators and up into daylight, then turn right past the clocks on sticks and enter the only passage that passes straight through the shopping mall.
Canary Wharf: DLR → Crossrail3 min
Alight the DLR at Canary Wharf and it's three minutes to Crossrail. Better to head straight outside rather than going via the shopping mall because this involves fewer doors. Also don't be tempted to walk down the amazing hexagonal sci-fi tunnel because that takes you to the wrong level, instead head down the steps before you get there. n.b. It's only 2 minutes from West India Quay, so maybe get off there instead.
Custom House: DLR → Crossrail30 sec
Up, over and down. Easy.
Woolwich: DLR → Crossrail3 min
That's three minutes if you get lucky with the pedestrian crossing, otherwise longer.
Abbey Wood: Southeastern → Crossrail1 min
Up, over and down. Easy.
In conclusion... Short connections: TCR (Northern), Liverpool Street, Custom House, Abbey Wood Medium connections: TCR (Central), Farringdon, Moorgate (Circle), Whitechapel Long connections: Paddington, Moorgate (Northern), Canary Wharf, Woolwich
...plus generally a big long escalator to add onto the end of that.
The trains are going to be very fast.
But interchanging will be anything but.