Heathrow Express has finally launched its new rolling stock after several Covid and non-Covid related delays. All of the old trains have now left service.
Despite their impeccable interiors, the existing Heathrow Express trains were 22 years old. More importantly, they lacked compatibility with the new Crossrail signalling systems.
GWR, which now runs the service under contract to Heathrow, has refurbished some existing Electrostar trains. These trains were built in 2015 to 2017 and became surplus to requirements due to delayed electrification projects and other rolling stock purchases.
The 12 new trains also have regenerative braking, which makes them more efficient by using the electric drivetrain as a generator when slowing down. The excess electricity is then fed back into the overhead power grid.
Business First remains
As before, the trains feature two classes: Express Class and Business First, with the latter coming with extra legroom and a work table.
The only downside is that the new Business First configuration is denser at 2-1 rather than 1-1. 2-1 is pretty standard for First Class on trains these days though, so we can’t really complain.
There is more space for wheelchair users and double the number of toilets in case nature calls on the 15 minute trip to or from Paddington.
Like many new trains, the Class 387 Heathrow Express trains feature a continuous gangway rather than individual carriages.
More screens will show live flight and rail connections as well as daily news highlights and shopping deals at Heathrow and there will be USB sockets in addition to normal power outlets which should be more useful for international travellers.
Heathrow Express is currently operating two trains per hour. In the coming months it is hoping to ramp back up to four, with a departure every fifteen minutes.
Prices start from £5.50 one way for a single advanced ticket with fully refundable flex tickets in Express and Business First starting at £22 and £32 one way. This article looks at how you can get a discount on Heathrow Express tickets and earn Avios on your purchases.
Remember that, if you have Star Alliance Gold status – perhaps via the current TAP Portugal status match – you get a free upgrade to First Class on Heathrow Express.
We’ll be back with a review when things get moving again …. in the meantime, you can book on the Heathrow Express website here.