Not the biggest surprise in the world, but it has been officially stated that the new Elizabeth line will be part of the London travel card zone system.

There was always a bit of a doubt as to what the fares would be, so there was a slight chance that the Elizabeth line would have different fares to the rest of the travel network. This has now been squashed.

As a result, all customer service and travel information on the line will be fully integrated with TfL’s other services, with daily fare capping for Oyster and contactless applying.

From Sunday 20 May, the current Heathrow Connect service between Heathrow and Paddington will be transferred to TfL. Although TfL’s fare zones do not apply to these Heathrow fares, for the first time, customers will be able to use pay as you go with Oyster and contactless across the route. Fares will also be cheaper or in line with the current standard fares charged for Heathrow Connect.

Standard zonal fares will continue to apply for journeys between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington, with special single fares applying for journeys to and from Heathrow Airport.

From May, TfL Rail services will operate two trains an hour between Paddington and Heathrow using the existing Heathrow Connect trains, an identical frequency to now. A further two trains an hour will run between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington using the new Elizabeth line trains, replacing part of the Great Western inner suburban route. Testing is still ongoing to allow TfL to introduce the new Elizabeth line trains to the airport.

Details of the specific fares from Heathrow airport on TfL rail services from May 2018:

Peak services Monday to Friday (06.30 – 09.30 and 16.00 – 19.00)

Heathrow to/from: 2018 Heathrow Connect  fares Proposed Elizabeth Line  Peak PAYG fares Difference to current Heathrow Connect fare Daily Cap
London Paddington £10.30 £10.20 10p cheaper (1%) £12.50
Hayes & Harlington £6.30 £6.20 10p cheaper (2%) £12.50
Southall, Hanwell £6.90 £6.90   £12.50
West Ealing-Greenford £8.00 £7.30 70p cheaper (9%) £12.50
Ealing Broadway/Acton Main Line £8.00 £7.30 70p cheaper (9%) £12.50
TfL Zone 1 stations £12.70 £12.10 60p cheaper (5%) £12.50

Off-peak services

Heathrow to/from: 2018 Connect  fares Elizabeth Line off-peak PAYG fares Difference to current Heathrow Connect fare Daily Cap
London Paddington £10.30 £10.10 20p cheaper (2%) £12.50
Hayes & Harlington £6.30 £6.00 30p cheaper (5%) £12.50
Southall, Hanwell £6.90 £6.00 90p cheaper (13%) £12.50
West Ealing-Greenford £8.00 £6.00 £2.00 cheaper (25%) £12.50
Ealing Broadway/Acton Main Line £8.00 £6.00 £2.00 cheaper (25%) £12.50
TfL Zone 1 stations £12.70 £10.10 £2.60 cheaper (20%) £12.50
  • Pay as you go journeys between Paddington and West Drayton have been set at the TfL zonal rate since it was introduced in September 2008.
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6 comments
  1. Jon says:

    I wonder how this will work with travelcards?

    • JP says:

      Travelcards covering Zone 6 will be valid on the Elizabeth Line out to Heathrow with no supplement required:

      “As part of the integrated service, daily fare capping for Oyster and contactless and weekly fare capping for contactless will apply, with travelcards that cover Zone 6 able to be used on services to Heathrow.”

  2. Frankie Roberto says:

    Real shame the the line isn’t going to match the fares of the Piccadilly line to Heathrow. Will be interesting to see how many people choose one over the other…

    • Ian Visits says:

      The Elizabeth line is faster, so it’s not unreasonable to have a fares premium — as already exists on the current mainline services to Heathrow.

    • Frankie Roberto says:

      Ealing Broadway to Stratford is also going to be faster via Crossrail than on the Central line, but that will be the same price.

      I suspect the main reasons for the Heathrow premium are:

      * to help pay the access charges to Heathrow Airport, who own the track
      * because Heathrow passengers are mostly non-Londoners, who don’t vote or contribute council tax
      * because the existing Heathrow Connect service is already more expensive, and it’s far less controversial to maintain high fares than to introduce them.

      If Crossrail was a brand new line not taking over an existing service, I suspect the fares would be aligned to the tube.

      That said, let’s wait and see what the fare structure will be on the Eastern and Southern branches of Crossrai. (And beyond the zone boundary out to Reading)

  3. SteveP says:

    Heathrow is included on the Tube access for Freedom Oyster cards, but the validity ends at West Drayton on rail services. I assume BAA/HEX will want their pound of flesh for access from that direction, so how will this be handled, as Freedom Oyster passes have no provision for a top-up charge?

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