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Elizabeth Line trains will run direct to Heathrow from November

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At last …. we have a date for direct Elizabeth Line services from Central London to Heathrow.

Although the Elizabeth Line initially opened in May it was on a split service. Trains are currently running through the central core terminating at Paddington, where you have to change platforms.

This was the result of the project effectively connecting three separate railways – the overground Western portions, the new, tunnelled central section and the existing overground Eastern railway – and all of the necessary signalling work running late.

Elizabeth line route

This isn’t great for connections to Heathrow, as you have to make your way from the underground station up to the ground-level platforms at Paddington in the main concourse. It obviously isn’t ideal, particularly if you are travelling with luggage, and increases your overall journey time.

This is about to end. From 6th November, Transport for London is completing the connection from East to West so you no longer have to change platforms. A map is below. It means you will now be able to catch a train from Heathrow and continue into central London and even go as far as Abbey Wood or Shenfield (via a same-platform train change).

The railway will also start operations on Sundays, which was previously not the case due to the need to carve out time for the signalling work

There is more good news. In addition to through-running trains, TFL will also increase the service to 22 trains per hour during peak times (10 more than at present) and 16 during off peak times. This means there will be a train at least every four minutes in the central section, and every three minutes at peak times.

When it comes to Heathrow, there will be six trains per hour. All six will serve Terminals 2 & 3, whilst four will continue on to Terminal 4. Just two trains per hour – one every 30 minutes – will operate to Terminal 5.

This is a blow to British Airways although better than planned given that running to Terminal 5 was never part of the original plan for Crossrail. Still, with many more passengers travelling from Terminal 5 versus Terminal 4 it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.

A trip from Heathrow to Farringdon will take between 36 and 40 minutes and cost between £10.70 and £12.70. This is thanks to a £7.20 ‘Heathrow premium’ charge that TFL is charging over Piccadilly Line fares, in part to pay for access to Heathrow’s rail tunnels which are owned by the airport. It is worth adding a Railcard to your Oyster Card, if you have one, to get a 33% discount on off-peak fares.

We look forward to giving it a go, given that the HfP office is only a couple of minutes walk from the Moorgate / Liverpool Street Crossrail station.

Comments (117)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alex B says:

    We have just missed a connection flight in Frankfurt. We have been put on a fligjt departing 4 hours later. Are we entitled to any compensation?

    • marcw says:

      1st. You need to get to your final destination.
      2nd. Depends where you are flying to (distance)
      3rd. Was your original flight delayed? Reason for delay is important.

    • Alex B says:

      Flying Lufthansa from City to Innsbruck connection in Frankfurt. Missed the connection due to late arrival of plane in City. Rebooted 4 hours later on arrival in Frankfurt. That flight was cancelled due to weather and currently rebooted in a flight tomorrow which is no good for us as we are only there for 2 nights as we have an event at 10.30 tomorrow morning.

      • Lady London says:

        If your trip is now pointless ‘zwecklos geworden’ then Lufthansa now owe you free transport back to your point of origin plus a refund if you want

        If they refuse or fail to provide the above or if no flights back this evening (or on to Innsbruck if that’s what you chose instead of return to London City airport and refund) if you request it then they must pay your meals, hotel, transport to and from hotel, until you are able to be transported onward to Innsbruck or back.

        Rw compo sort this out after you get back you will have to fight as Lufthansa’s repnis pretty $h1tty for honouring without a fight. Problems with incoming aircraft, however oit of control of airline they may be, cannot be used to claim exveptional circs on your flight and thus avoid paying you compo – airline is supposed to have backup even at their outstations in theory. You should check today or tomorrow on expertflyer as after that the reason access requires a sub.

        Make sure you keep a note and anybevidence of your attempts to ask LH to provide you the above as you have to be seen to give them the opportunity. So try to find someone at airport and call them.

        The rest is for your insurance (LH doesn’t get to pay your hotel missed in Innsbruck etc – onlyvwhile ypu’rebstuck i Frankfurt if that turns out to be overnight.

    • Lady London says:

      PS next time please postbin the correcr place on Jeadforloints for this which is by posti g a comment on a suitable thread in the Flight Cancellations and Changes section or starting a thread there. That way someone else who gets stuck im the future in a similar sjtuation can benefit.

  • R G says:

    Twilight checkin: Is the 1pm cut off for Gatters flights strict? How about 1:25pm (long haul) the next day…? Worth a try the night before?

    • Thegasman says:

      It’s hard coded into Fly (BA’s software) so they can’t print tags for flights that don’t meet criteria.

  • paul says:

    Would LOVE a few more articles from “the regions” instead of it mostly being London, London, London – believe it or not most of the population doesn’t live in (nor want to visit) London.

    OK, the major airports are near London but not all airports are.

    More regional articles please HfP !!

    • bafan says:

      It’s all Ryanair and EasyJet what is there to say Lmao.

      • Lady London says:

        And a bit of KLM, who seem to have done more than BA to transport passengers from UK regions not sure if will continue

    • AirMax says:

      The articles are aimed at wealthier readers because that’s who the advertisers want to target. Liverpool to Benidorm for £9.99 is great but not for HFP.

      • Rhys says:

        Not quite. The articles are aimed at people who collect miles and points, who tend to be wealthier, live in the South East and travel for work.

        • Rob says:

          If someone can draw up a business plan showing how writing about £10 flights from Liverpool on airlines who pay no sales commission could fund £200,000 of annual revenue to pay 3 people plus office costs then we’d love to see it. Supported purely by Google Adsense you’d need around 75 million page views per year.

          • paul says:

            You know that’s not what Im saying – but what about some more articles on connecting to euro hubs using points, avoiding duty etc.

            Options to get to Bristol airport? Lounges at Bristol? Brand Hotels nr Bristol?

            Connections via Dublin to US east coast or maybe CDG or Amsterdam?

            Believe it or not, us lowly people outside the M25 do have credit cards too.

          • Rob says:

            You clearly missed my review of Hampton Exeter Airport, HI Southend Airport or Courtyard Inverness or Rhys’s various filings from HGI Birmingham, Courtyard Luton etc etc.

            Virtually every UK airport lounge has been reviewed.

          • ChrisC says:

            Paul

            They’ve reviewed 2 lounges at Bristol but it was a while ago though. If you have an update I’m sure Rob and Rhys would be happy to hear from you – they do featured reviews by other people.

            https://www.headforpoints.com/uk-airport-lounge-reviews/

            I’m sure there was an article recently about starting at DUB and they have certainty written about starting in MAD to save avios (and cash)

            Once you understand the thinking behind such departure like not paying APD and reduced surcharge they are easily transferable to other airports like AMS and CDG

        • paul says:

          So wealthier people don’t live outside those areas; wow.

          Might as well shut down every Waitrose outside the M25 as a starting point then – and we wouldn’t want poor peoples Lidl inside the M25 either would we.

    • Martin says:

      Couldn’t agree more. From Manchester what is the point of BA? Their service to LHR is unreliable for connections. Rail connections are just as bad at the moment as well. Other than a wider selection of islands in the Caribbean (shame no longer a connection to LGW)I can more easily travel east and west from Manchester either via European hubs or Turkish/ ME3. I’ve just cashed in all my avois on a Qatar flight for 2 on q suites to Karachi (cricket !) and can’t see the point using BA anymore

    • Mike Hunt says:

      As part of Levelling Up I would suggest HFP run more regional articles – also very useful for the vast majority of the population that don’t live in London

      • Rob says:

        Let’s imagine we wanted to review the lounges at Leeds Bradford. We’d need to get a peak time train to Leeds, taxis to Leeds Bradford, pay for the lounges, take a flight to (probably) Amsterdam, almost certainly pay for a hotel night at Amsterdam airport and then fly back to London the next day. We’re talking well over £500 and 1.5 days of staff time to do a Leeds Bradford lounge review, which would – I promise you – be the least read article of the week in which we published it. Why would we bother?

      • ChrisC says:

        If you are flying from a regional airport you could always offer to write a review.

        Rob has certainly published such reader reviews as a proper article.

    • Brian78 says:

      “ Would LOVE a few more articles from “the regions” instead of it mostly being London”

      Maybe make your own website then?

  • Sam says:

    The Crossrail T4 service compensates the absence of direct Heathrow Express service which T5 has long been taking advantage of.

    Let’s say if the T4/T5 service pattern was a 3-3tph split, this would not only discourage people to travel on the Heathrow Express to T5 as they shared the same 15min service interval with Crossrail, but also making T4 less accessible.

    I do not have the passenger figure of T5/T4 to make a like-to-like comparison but T4 has a broader customer range than T5 which is serving exclusively to BA (and only a few IB/AA/QR flights).

    • ChrisC says:

      T5 is now only BA

    • ADS says:

      Looking at the service pattern from T5/T4 on Monday 7th November 1-2pm as an example

      13:01 T5 – Abbey Wood
      13:12 T5 HEX
      13:27 T5 HEX
      13:31 T5 – Abbey Wood
      13:42 T5 HEX
      13:57 T5 HEX
      For just 8 minutes in the hour, the next train will be an Elizabeth Line train!

      13:16 T4 – Abbey Wood
      13:46 T4 – Abbey Wood
      Plus HEX shuttle service – presuming it’s still running ?

      • lumma says:

        But can’t you just hop on the HEX if it’s the first train then jump on a Elizabeth line train at T2/3 if you don’t want to wait for the T5 direct train?

        • Londonsteve says:

          Good point @lumma. Although in light of the timetable the most you’ll probably save is 10 minutes versus waiting for the direct service. It clearly works in HEX’s favour to be the ‘next departure’ for such extensive periods but I guess it’s a corollary of the HEX requiring the track to be clear of a Lizzie Line service that stops at intermediate stations. I wonder how many tens of millions will be spent each year by travellers taken in by the arrival propaganda about ‘most frequent departures’ and ‘non stop’, who end up paying £25 for the HEX when their overall journey time would be quicker with the EL, more comfortable and a lot cheaper?

  • James says:

    This has certainly bought out the armchair CEOs.
    Astonishing as Crossrail service pattern is now set and fixed.
    One totally missed point: the best value way to Heathrow from z1 is £2.50 oyster fare to Paddington and then£5.50 advance ticket on heathrow express. £10 and fast.
    I don’t get the whole luggage thing. So many bags are wheeled now, is travelling a few yards across a concourse that hard? If you have so many and you’re more than solo then Uber or Bolt will work better anyway.

    • Londonsteve says:

      I don’t know what I’m doing next week, much less in 3 months time. The fact that HEX studiously remove £5.50 tickets for sale within 3 months indicates it’s not about yield management, it’s about being able to market an eye-catching headline price that most people will never benefit from. Having to remember to book more than 3 months in advance for a paltry airport train is a pain when TFL offer half-price journeys with no change required and no need to book.

  • Paul says:

    TfL*
    The price difference between Elizabeth Line and Piccadilly Line will come down slightly when the peak charge will apply all day between Heathrow Piccadilly Line and Zone1.

    • Londonsteve says:

      It’s very confusing that the Single Fare Finder refers to peak and off-peak fares from Heathrow for both the tube and EL whereas the daily caps state that any journey that starts, end or passes through Zone 1 using either service will be charged at peak fares at all times. So why are off-peak fares for such journeys still being quoted by TFL? E.g. Terminal 5 to Arnos Grove is £5.50 peak and £3.50 off-peak, but apparently this off-peak fare is no longer available?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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