Just three weeks after it opened, the Elizabeth line is already gaining a new station to call at, as it adds Heathrow Terminal 4 to the line. Elizabeth line trains already call at Heathrow Terminals 2/3 and Terminal 5, but Heathrow Airport closed Terminal 4 at the start of the pandemic and it is only now reopening.

At the moment, the Elizabeth line runs four trains an hour from Paddington station to Heathrow, with two terminating at Terminals 2/3, and two going on to Terminal 5.

When Terminal 4 reopens on Tuesday 14th June, the service pattern will change slightly. There will still be four trains an hour from Paddington, all calling at Terminals 2/3 and then the service splits with two per hour to Terminal 4 and two per hour to Terminal 5.

Elizabeth line map (c) TfL

If you’re determined to ride the first Elizabeth line train to Terminal 4 on Tuesday 14th June, then that’s the 4:53am from Paddington, arriving at Heathrow Terminal 4 at 5:25am.

This also means that there will be an extra option to travel for free on the Elizabeth line. This is because there’s a free inter-terminal service offered by Heathrow Airport, so you can travel for free between airport terminals on the Elizabeth line. At the moment it’s just between Terminals 2/3 and 5, but from next week, you’ll be able to travel for free between Terminals 2/3 and 4 as well.

You can pick up a free Inter-Terminal Transfer ticket from one of the machines in the station for your journey.

Should you want to.

A quirk of the service is that because at the moment Elizabeth line trains to Heathrow run every 15 minutes, if you miss the direct train, the journey planner may suggest something unexpected – to take the Elizabeth line train going to Reading, swap to the District line at Ealing Broadway, and then the Piccadilly line to Heathrow — which arrives slightly faster than waiting for the direct train. Of course, people will probably prefer to wait a few minutes for the direct service, not least because it’s a lot more convenient if carrying luggage, but also because it’s a lot more comfortable.

When Terminal 4 reopens, Qatar Airways will be the first to move to T4, followed by around 30 airlines over the following month.

Later this year, Elizabeth line trains from Heathrow will also start running through the central tunnels to Farringdon, Liverpool Street and beyond, instead of stopping at Paddington as they currently do.

Piccadilly line trains will also return to serving Heathrow Terminal 4 from Tuesday 14 June.


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  1. Cjw714 says:

    If you miss the direct train it’s much better to get a bus from Hayes and Harrington than faff around on the tube.

  2. David Jones says:

    Do we know what the service frequency will be to each terminal when the line is fully completed?

  3. Ray says:

    will that mean the end of the heathrow express, which would give 4 more paths each hour to/from Paddington

  4. Paul says:

    Personally I’d be surprised if HEX survives long term. HAL clearly think there’s still a market for it, but once the Elizabeth Line is running through from Heathrow across Central London, few people are going to pay a whopping premium to save 10 minutes but be dumped at Paddington where they have to change, and often queue, for ongoing transport anyway.

    Yeah many people do get off the HEX and take taxis from Paddington, but with the Elizabeth Line running through it won’t make sense to go very far Eastwards in a cab. Central London traffic jams won’t compete. There’ll still be a few suits and wealthier tourists heading to hotels in Bayswater or whatever, but IMO this won’t sustain 4tph all day every day.

  5. Martyn says:

    Travelling from TCR to Heathrow on Elizabeth line, so have to change at Paddington. Any idea what platform we look for?
    Or is it better to aim for HEX?

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