Victoria line that carries 250m passengers a year and sees trains arrive every ...

Yesterday it was announced the Elizabeth line is facing further delays, and is now set to open in autumn 2019, £600m over budget and nine months late.

But as the line named after one long reigning queen is opening, another is celebrating a major anniversary.

London's Victoria line turns 50 today, and Transport for London has released some historic photos to mark the occasion.

When the line opened in 1968, it ran from Walthamstow Central to Highbury & Islington and was the first new line in 61 years - before that was the Central line in 1907. 

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Victoria Line on the London Underground

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Victoria Line on the London Underground

London's Victoria line turns 50 today, and Transport for London has released some historic photos to mark the occasion

London's Victoria line turns 50 today, and Transport for London has released some historic photos to mark the occasion

But Crossrail isn't alone in facing issues that pushed opening back.

Just 24 hours before the Victoria line was due to open, newspapers reported dampness affecting signalling equipment needed to be retested.

George Follenfant, London Transport's chief civil engineer, was quoted said 'I think it will be ready on time', and he was right first passenger took the 5.7mile journey on September 1, 1968.

Workmen tend to the still escalators far below ground in London on July 7, 1969

Workmen tend to the still escalators far below ground in London on July 7, 1969

An access tunnel under Oxford Circus used to extract clay from excavations during the construction of the Victoria Line on the London Underground system, April 23 1964

An access tunnel under Oxford Circus used to extract clay from excavations during the construction of the Victoria Line on the London Underground system, April 23 1964

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new branch of the Victoria Line on the London Underground,  March 7 1969

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new branch of the Victoria Line on the London Underground,  March 7 1969

A tube worker being lowered into a tunnelling shaft in Cavendish Square during work on London Underground's Victoria Line

A tube worker being lowered into a tunnelling shaft in Cavendish Square during work on London Underground's Victoria Line

The line was extended south in the following two years and was completed at Pimlico in 1972, it was approved by Parliament in 1955. 

By 1966, most of the tunnels had been finished, and the first stations opened in 1968, later extending as far south as Brixton. 

The official opening of Victoria Tube station was on March 7, 1969, when Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a commemorative plaque. 

She then took the Victoria line to Green Park, becoming the only reigning monarch to ever use the Tube. 

Today, the Victoria line is the most frequent train service in the UK, and the second most frequent in the world, and operates 36 trains per hour at the busiest times, with 100 seconds between trains. It is only beaten by the Moscow Metro which runs trains every 95 seconds.

This means that more than 250 million passengers each year are served by the train. 

The Queen's Cousin, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy going down the escalator at Brixton station after she officially opened the new Victoria Line extension in 1971

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Victoria Line on the London Underground, March 7 1969

Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Victoria Line on the London Underground, March 7, 1979 (left). Right: The Queen's Cousin, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy going down the escalator at Brixton station after she officially opened the new Victoria Line extension in 1971

July 23 1971: The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra travelling in the driver's cab after she had officially opened the extension of the Victoria line to Brixton

July 23 1971: The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra travelling in the driver's cab after she had officially opened the extension of the Victoria line to Brixton

The Queen travelling on the London Underground after officially opening the Victoria Line service, making her the first monarch to ever ride the tube

The Queen travelling on the London Underground after officially opening the Victoria Line service, making her the first monarch to ever ride the tube

Workmen boring a 21ft diameter tunnel linked the Victoria line with the Bakerloo line at Oxford Circus station

Workmen boring a 21ft diameter tunnel linked the Victoria line with the Bakerloo line at Oxford Circus station

In 2016, the Night Tube opened on the Victoria Line providing a quick and affordable way to travel across London during weekend nights. 

The anniversary coincides with the completion of works at Blackhorse Road station, which serves 15 million customer journeys every year.

Frank Ibe, Head of Line Operations for the Victoria line said: 'The Victoria line has been a key part of London's transport network for 50 years and it's amazing to think how many billions of journeys have been made in its history. When it opened, the Victoria line was one of the most modern subways in the world and, thanks to the recent improvements, it still sets the standard for the rest of the world today.'

Prince Philip visits London Underground: The Duke Of Edinburgh looks at the South Tunnel facing on the Victoria Line works at Vauxhall Park in 1968

Prince Philip visits London Underground: The Duke Of Edinburgh looks at the South Tunnel facing on the Victoria Line works at Vauxhall Park in 1968

Bruce Horncastle who worked as on the construction of the new Victoria Line

Bruce Horncastle who worked as on the construction of the new Victoria Line

Elevated view looking onto the rail tracks leading to the Northumberland Park depot for the newly completed London underground train service Victoria Line on 30 August 1968

Elevated view looking onto the rail tracks leading to the Northumberland Park depot for the newly completed London underground train service Victoria Line on 30 August 1968

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said: 'The Victoria line has served as the beating vein between Tottenham, Haringey and the rest of London, ever since it opened 50 years ago. Throughout my life, it has allowed the people of our constituency to access work, education and culture across the capital. With the recent modernisation and the improvements still being made, I look forward to the Victoria line benefitting people in my constituency and across London for years to come.'

Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clare Coghill said: 'We'd like to wish the Victoria line a very happy 50th birthday! The Victoria line has been instrumental in connecting Waltham Forest to central London. It has helped millions of residents get to work, helped local businesses thrive and opened the borough up to visitors from London and further afield. Next year it will be play a key role in helping Londoners visit us for the first Borough of Culture celebrations. We look forward to the next 50 years and beyond!'

'I’m not crossrail... I’m disappointed-rail': Long-suffering commuters despair as London's new £15bn Elizabeth line will NOT open by December leaving passengers waiting until Autumn 2019 Surprise announcement angers businesses coming just three months before the Christmas trading period Angry and 'gutted' commuters have been taking to Twitter to express their frustration with the recent news Project has already gone over budget by £600m rising from £14.8bn to £15.4bn - now extra funding is needed Full Elizabeth line will include journey from Reading to Shenfield in Essex, and from Heathrow to Abbey Wood Transport for London would not confirm to MailOnline whether this would be the final delay to the project 

 By James Wood for MailOnline  

Infuriated passengers have spoken out following the shock announcement Crossrail is to be delayed by nine months - now with just a vague autumn opening date next year.

The delay has caused much 'frustration' among passengers and business owners alike with one irate commuter labelling himself 'not Crossrail' but 'disappointed rail.'

The colossal project had been expected to open in December this year bringing significantly reduced journey times to the capital - but the need for 'further testing' has led to the delay.

London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon on the day it was announced Crossrail would be delayed until Autumn - missing its scheduled December opening 

London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon on the day it was announced Crossrail would be delayed until Autumn - missing its scheduled December opening 

Irate commuters have been taking to Twitter to share their frustration, with one user called Mark Button describing the situation as 'bad news, no doubt'.

While Steve Merrylees said: 'I know I'm a transport nerd but I'm gutted about Crossrail being delayed. It's going to cause a lot of problems for TfL .'

London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon on the day it was announced Crossrail would be delayed until Autumn - missing its scheduled December opening

An Elizabeth line train at Abbeywood train station in London as hundreds of angry commuters deal with the news Crossrail will be delayed by nine months

An Elizabeth line train at Abbeywood train station in London as hundreds of angry commuters deal with the news Crossrail will be delayed by nine months

An Elizabeth line train at Abbeywood train station in London as hundreds of angry commuters deal with the news Crossrail will be delayed by nine months

Commuters walk alongside London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon today as Crossrail have announced they will miss the December opening date and services will be delayed until Autumn

The Crossrail line had been due to open in December of this year but the need for 'further testing' has meant it will now not open until autumn next year

A map of the new Elizabeth line which will take commuters from Reading and Heathrow Airport in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Angry commuters have been taking to Twitter (below) to share their thoughts following news of the delay

Commuters walk alongside London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon today as Crossrail have announced they will miss the December opening date and services will be delayed until Autumn

Commuters walk alongside London's new east-west railway service site at Farringdon today as Crossrail have announced they will miss the December opening date and services will be delayed until Autumn

Another user, called Jeff, questioned whether this was 'more evidence of a nation in crisis'.

While Elliot Howells, who has bought a home along the new line, said: 'Simply not good enough and hugely disappointing from TfL.

'I bought a property on the line on the promise of the Elizabeth Line's December opening. I appreciate the complexity of the project but to announce this a few short months before the expected opening is poor'

The news has caused particular concern among business leaders due to the fact the Christmas trading period is just three months away.

The Crossrail line had been due to open in December of this year but the need for 'further testing' has meant it will now not open until autumn next year

The Crossrail line had been due to open in December of this year but the need for 'further testing' has meant it will now not open until autumn next year

Jace Tyrrell, the chief executive of the New West End Company - a group that represents hundreds of businesses in London - said the decision would put greater pressure on retailers.

He said: 'We are disappointed that the opening of this major and vital piece of infrastructure is being delayed'.

Although touching upon the need for the line to be safe, he said: 'Retailers throughout the UK are facing difficult trading conditions with rising costs, changing shop habits and falling consumer spending, partly because of Brexit uncertainties.

'The delay increases the urgency for the Government to introduce measures to support Britain's retailers and high streets.'

General view of construction during the Crossrail breakthrough beneath Finsbury Circus. Thousands of construction workers have been involved in the project since its inception

An artist's impression of how stations might look on the Elizabeth line once open to the public. Londoners will have to wait a little longer for the futuristic stations, as the line has now been delayed

A map showing the new route of the Crossrail project, which has now been delayed until autumn next year. It will take commuters from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east

A map of the new Elizabeth line which will take commuters from Reading and Heathrow Airport in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Angry commuters have been taking to Twitter (below) to share their thoughts following news of the delay

A map of the new Elizabeth line which will take commuters from Reading and Heathrow Airport in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Angry commuters have been taking to Twitter (below) to share their thoughts following news of the delay

He urged the government to cut business rates and called for an interim tax of just one per cent for online businesses.

Conservative transport secretary Chris Grayling has been called out following news of the delay, while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan labelled the news 'disappointing'.

Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, wrote on Twitter: 'Yet again an announcement is made while Parliament is in recess, allowing the Transport Secretary to avoid scrutiny.

'He should be explaining how the Crossrail delay happened and what he plans to do about it - but he has gone missing.'

MailOnline contacted TfL to see if this would be the last delay the project would face - but a spokesman for the organisation refused to rule out the possibility .

The spokesman also refused to confirm whether this delay would impact on stations at the terminus ends of the line - meaning passengers getting on trains in Berkshire may also have to wait.

Transport for London (TfL) has expressed ' disappointment ' following the news but stressed that a safe and reliable line is of ' paramount importance'.

Addressing the delay, a spokesman for Crossrail Limited said: 'The revised schedule is needed to complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required to ensure the Elizabeth line opens as a safe and reliable railway.'

General view of construction during the Crossrail breakthrough beneath Finsbury Circus. Thousands of construction workers have been involved in the project since its inception

General view of construction during the Crossrail breakthrough beneath Finsbury Circus. Thousands of construction workers have been involved in the project since its inception

When contacted for more information by Mail Online, a spokesman for TfL said: ‘As you can imagine it is a very big project which has been going on for ten years and so there is no one reason for the delay.

‘We don’t think the December opening date was ambitious. We need more time for testing – more work is needed on checking the signalling and software.’

Testing is needed to introduce the next phase of the railway – the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood – in a way that can be guaranteed to be safe and reliable.

The latest setback comes soon after it was announced by a rail minister that the project had already gone £600m over budget.

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