The future Elizabeth line, which was already due to call at Heathrow Airport’s Terminals 2 and 4 from next May, is to add Terminal 5 to the list, but not until December 2019.

The decision follows a court ruling that saw Heathrow Airport losing a court case over how much it could charge TfL for access to its rail tunnels. Heathrow Airport had wanted to include costs covering the construction of the tunnel, but the courts ruled that any fees were limited to operational costs alone.

Under the plan, services to Heathrow will increase from 18 trains per hour today to at least 22 trains per hour in 2019, of which six will be on the Elizabeth line. There is also an ambition to add further services in the future.

A joint feasibility study is underway to look at delivering an extra two Elizabeth line trains per hour to Terminal 5 meaning eight Elizabeth line trains per hour serving Heathrow, as well as additional work on developing western rail access to Heathrow.

As the Elizabeth line is replacing the existing Connect service, which calls at the intermediate stations, four Heathrow Express services from Paddington will continue to run every 15 minutes.

In addition, from May 2018, new ticket readers will be installed at Heathrow, meaning passengers using Heathrow Express and TfL Rail between Paddington and Heathrow will be able to use pay as you go Oyster or a contactless device.

Rail services to Heathrow from December 2019:

  • 12 Piccadilly Line trains per hour – 6 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 6 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
  • 6 Elizabeth Line trains per hour – 4 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and 2 trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5
  • 4 Heathrow Express trains per hour – all trains serving Terminals 2, 3 and 5

The change will also need a slight tweak to the Elizabeth line tube map to something that might look a bit like this:


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Article last updated: 4 July 2021 09:26


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  1. Andrew Jarman says:

    With Crossrail taking 36 minutes from TCR to T4 at normal TfL prices, Piccadilly Line taking 53 minutes from Piccadilly Circus [Z1-6 = £5-10 Peak/£3-10 off peak]. Why would anyone want to pay Heathrow Express £27 for turn up and go? OK if you prebook 90 days in advance it drops to £5-50 Weekends/£12-10 Mon-Fri for a single but not everyone can plan so far in advance.

    • Ian Williams says:

      For the same reason that people use the Gatwick Express when they can travel by Southern for much less – used by business travellers, super-rich and also tourists mugged into it by airlines or travel agents selling tickets in advance.

    • Anan says:

      Tfl has not committed to tube prices on crossrail as of yet.

  2. SteveP says:

    One assumes HEX pricing will be a tad more competitive when they have real competition

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