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  • Pointofview 36 posts

    Hi all, we are heading from London Euston to LHR on Saturday afternoon at 5 pm with my family and wondering if it’s worth getting the Heathrow Express and paying the extra cash (as im a tight-fisted northerner) or just using the Elizabeth line.
    I’m not from London so have no experience of what the best option would be at that time of day on a weekend.
    Thank you

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,241 posts

    Unless you got one of the £5.50 tickets then don’t use the HEX

    Tube and Lizzie line will suit you well enough

    From Euston take the Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road then Lizzie to LHR

    All stop free with escalators / lifts and easily managed with luggage

    e14 272 posts

    Luggage / no luggage ? How many of you

    I’d get a cab to either Tottenham Court Road Station or Paddington / East Bourne Terrace and get the EL.

    Jasdev 51 posts

    Always check the TfL website to find out whether there are any planned engineering works that would impact your journey.
    Fortunately no planned works on the Elizabeth Line west of Liverpool Street station this weekend so that option is fine.
    I haven’t taken either Heathrow Express or Elizabeth Line to Heathrow but, aside from potential crowding on the carriages, the cheaper option is likely fine.

    Londonsteve 193 posts

    I’ve tried every technique known to man to get to Heathrow, including using a motorbike. My opinion? The EL is expensive and quite slow. It saves barely any time compared to the Underground from many destinations, including pretty much anywhere in central London that isn’t walking distance to one of the EL stations. If you were considering taking the tube to Tottenham Court Road and the EL from there, I’d stay on the train to Leicester Square and change to the Piccadilly Line which is 60 minutes from there to T5 and offers a regular direct train to all terminals. £5.60 versus £13.30 per person with the EL which saves, at best, 20 minutes. Furthermore if you’re heading for Terminal 5 there’s only a direct service every 30 minutes otherwise you need to change trains at T2,3, potentially further eroding the time saving.

    I’d take the EL if I was travelling alone with multiple suitcases, or it was a very hot day and the lure of AC versus the stuffy Piccadilly line trains was worth the difference.

    Amy C 383 posts

    I don’t know which service you’re travelling to Euston on, whether it be Avanti or London North Western, but bear in mind both have been running an abysmal service of late with last min cancelations the norm.

    kiley 152 posts

    I walk from Euston to Euston Sqaure ( 5 min walk and very few stairs) and catch the Tube to Paddington and grab the HEX from there. Always buy advanced tickets.

    I’ve never used the EL, but I do plan to next time from Tottenham Court Road to give me a direct comparison and to see if its easier.

    How big is your family? 4 persons in a cab from Euston to T5 might not be too bad compared to 4 train/tube tickets. And defo more convenient.

    Londonsteve 193 posts

    I walk from Euston to Euston Sqaure ( 5 min walk and very few stairs) and catch the Tube to Paddington and grab the HEX from there. Always buy advanced tickets.

    If I have the benefit of a £5.50 advanced ticket then the HEX is hands down the winner. Alas, I strongly suspect the OP doesn’t have any tickets booked for the HEX (otherwise why would the question be posed). I almost never book flights more than 90 days before departure and this is when you need to book in order to nab discounted HEX tickets. Fundamentally it’s a marketing scam and very few passengers benefit from this price. I’d have more sympathy with HEX if they made this price accessible for the most thinly used trains, potentially even booked the day before. That might be where we end up in the ultimately hopeless quest to drive business towards it, faced with the dual pronged onslaught from TFL of direct EL services and smart new Piccadilly line trains with AC. HEX strikes me as a waste of rail pathways in and out of Paddington that could be far better used to serve more far-flung destinations that are socially and economically useful to connect to London with a greater frequency.

    Kuestrian 58 posts

    I’ve tried every technique known to man to get to Heathrow, including using a motorbike. My opinion? The EL is expensive and quite slow. It saves barely any time compared to the Underground from many destinations, including pretty much anywhere in central London that isn’t walking distance to one of the EL stations. If you were considering taking the tube to Tottenham Court Road and the EL from there, I’d stay on the train to Leicester Square and change to the Piccadilly Line which is 60 minutes from there to T5 and offers a regular direct train to all terminals. £5.60 versus £13.30 per person with the EL which saves, at best, 20 minutes. Furthermore if you’re heading for Terminal 5 there’s only a direct service every 30 minutes otherwise you need to change trains at T2,3, potentially further eroding the time saving.

    I’d take the EL if I was travelling alone with multiple suitcases, or it was a very hot day and the lure of AC versus the stuffy Piccadilly line trains was worth the difference.

    Saving 20 minutes on a 4+ hour journey with kids in tow is not to be underestimated.

    Throw in the step-free access, wider platforms, spacious trains that are easier to board and better equipped for luggage, comfier seats, air-con and smoother ride and suddenly paying £8 more doesn’t seem that bad.

    memesweeper 1,295 posts

    The easiest and comfiest option is cab to Paddington and HEX.

    If you want to stretch your legs and it’s dry Euston to Tottenham Ct Rd is an easy 20 min walk. Lizzy from there.

    I’d personally take the tube or walk to TCR and the Lizzy unless there was severe distribution to avoid.

    Piccadilly is an uncomfortable schlep that gets really tedious. Avoid.

    CityMapper app on the day will give you real time disruption updates and may suggest sensible routes around it.

    Londonsteve 193 posts

    I completely agree the EL is more comfortable than the tube by quite a margin. And indeed, if comfort is the sole consideration as @memesweeper has suggested, taking a black cab from the rank at Euston to Paddington followed by the HEX is the most comfortable, albeit by a country mile the most expensive option. Overall, it’s probably the fastest too, unless there’s gridlocked traffic en route to Paddington (unlikely as there’s a bus line down the Euston Road the black cab can use).

    I guess it ultimately comes to down to the value of money (putting aside situations when we’re in a mad rush and at risk of missing the flight). 4 people saving £8 each by taking the tube versus the EL is a £32 post tax saving ‘earned’ by an extra 20 minutes travelling time which significantly exceeds the implied gross hourly income of most people in the UK. A taxi followed by HEX versus the tube is like comparing Concorde to sitting in Economy on a 747. A fraction of the price, takes twice as long and significantly less comfortable, but the preferred choice of most people.

    BBbetter 764 posts

    EL is not just comfortable but a healthy option too. The pollution in underground tunnels is getting unbearable. Travelled on central line after a long time and felt sick.

    Kuestrian 58 posts

    I guess it ultimately comes to down to the value of money (putting aside situations when we’re in a mad rush and at risk of missing the flight). 4 people saving £8 each by taking the tube versus the EL is a £32 post tax saving ‘earned’ by an extra 20 minutes travelling time which significantly exceeds the implied gross hourly income of most people in the UK. A taxi followed by HEX versus the tube is like comparing Concorde to sitting in Economy on a 747. A fraction of the price, takes twice as long and significantly less comfortable, but the preferred choice of most people.

    It’s not just the time saving that’s the difference between the EL and Picc line though, as several people have outlined above.

    Following your loose analogy, if taxi+HEX is Concorde and Picc is economy then EL is closer to Business class on the 747 – a much more comfortable and enjoyable journey (with time savings if you want to include luggage collection) for a similar price differential to economy.

    I know which I would choose! (and do – my days of schlepping to LHR on the Picc are long gone!)

    Londonsteve 193 posts

    Fair enough, pays your money and takes your choice. The new Siemens trains on the Picc line will transform the travel experience and since they’ll have AC, they should also have an air intake filtration system which will improve the air quality inside the carriages.

    Millions of people take the tube daily to and from work, most will have little choice how they travel. They’re not dropping like flies and most will live to a ripe old age despite a working lifetime of tube commuting behind them. I wouldn’t therefore worry about a one-off journey to Heathrow on the tube if you seldom otherwise use the Underground.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    As an honorary tight-fisted Northerner , from Euston I’d walk or bus, probably walk, to either Russell Square (preferred, easy) or Kings Cross (crowded, messy, complicated Tube station with long walks), and take the direct line Piccadilly Line to Heathrow.

    Make sure you get on one that’s going to Heathrow and not somewhere on the Rayners Lane branch, most are Heathrow.

    For a variety of reasons if there are long gaps between trains and they are stopping short of Heathrow or short of Hounslow West at a push, then the best place to change is Hammersmith (Barons Court can work too but if things go up the spout there will be more options from Hammersmith).

    ChrisBCN 287 posts

    Make sure you get on one that’s going to Heathrow and not somewhere on the Rayners Lane branch,

    I would always get the first train, regardless of destination, and change at Acton Town if necessary. Trains do change destinations occasionally.

    Also, you never know if the service is going to go down from the next train. If something happens to the central core service, there will always be a shuttle from Acton Town to Heathrow.

    John 1,041 posts

    Make sure you get on one that’s going to Heathrow and not somewhere on the Rayners Lane branch,

    I would always get the first train, regardless of destination, and change at Acton Town if necessary. Trains do change destinations occasionally.

    Also, you never know if the service is going to go down from the next train. If something happens to the central core service, there will always be a shuttle from Acton Town to Heathrow.

    Yup and very occasionally the trains to Rayners Lane arrive on the outer platform at Acton Town, while the previous train to Heathrow is still on the inner platform.

    Londonsteve 193 posts

    Loving the Piccadilly line geekdom on display.

    I might not be following my earlier advice since I discovered you can buy an off peak day travelcard on weekends with a Network Railcard for only £10 and that includes the EL to Heathrow. Factoring in a bus ride to the tube station, the EL then becomes a paltry £2.50 extra one way which is worth it for the time saved, AC and step free access. It also works on weekdays after 10am but then the travelcard is £13 versus the £14.90 daily cap for zones 1-6.

    rams 224 posts

    I used to always take the tube but now given my proximity to Paddington it’s a no brainer to use HEX even if booking late. I like to minimise time to travel to/from airport

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    Make sure you get on one that’s going to Heathrow and not somewhere on the Rayners Lane branch,

    I would always get the first train, regardless of destination, and change at Acton Town if necessary. Trains do change destinations occasionally.

    Also, you never know if the service is going to go down from the next train. If something happens to the central core service, there will always be a shuttle from Acton Town to Heathrow.

    I have a personal hatred for Acton Town, having been turfed out of trains that ended there unexpectedly too often since forever. And also having been a victim of living nearest to a station on the Rayners Lane branch (that Tfl seems to not want serving, and whose trains often just completely disappear due to the, presumably better, contractual performance commitments the Piccadilly Line has made to Heathrow).

    Additionally, changing at Acton Town can be a pig anyway with poorly functioning train announcement systems, so it’s easy to get on the wrong train. Which is serious as you could then be on the wrong branch. Due to the general chaos that’s prevailing at Acton Town in all times of…general chaos, I developed a preference for changing at Hammersmith which served me well. In chaos train after train can be completely full and you won’t get on at Acton Town, especually with luggage, I counted 9 once (and remember, longer gaps between those trains as well). At Hammersmith normally you’ll worst case get onto 2nd or 3rd train going to Heathrow that arrives.

    At Hammersmith the platform is very wide and you stay on the same platform, mostly the same side (not always, but mostly). At Acton Town tbe platforms to Heathrow are narrow, curved, cluttered and crowded, and often get a bitter cold wind that Hammesmith doesn’t get often.

    At Acton Town it’s far more likely that as part of the general chaos you may find yourself having to heave luggage up stairs and across to the other set of platforms if there are some mishaps. There’s a lift if you knoe how to find it but it’s a schlep.

    Buses from Acton Town are h*ll. i),If you’re really stuck at Hamnersmith a taxi is not ridiculously priced and you still have the option to try to get Tube as far as Hounslow if there are problems or take bus(es).

    Lots of things look good on the Underground map and the official announcements and suggestions from Tfl are not always the best way.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    Make sure you get on one that’s going to Heathrow and not somewhere on the Rayners Lane branch,

    I would always get the first train, regardless of destination, and change at Acton Town if necessary. Trains do change destinations occasionally.

    Also, you never know if the service is going to go down from the next train. If something happens to the central core service, there will always be a shuttle from Acton Town to Heathrow.

    I have a personal hatred for Acton Town, having been turfed out of trains that ended there unexpectedly too often since forever. And also having been a victim of living nearest to a station on the Rayners Lane branch (that Tfl seems to not want serving, and whose trains often just completely disappear due to the, presumably better, contractual performance commitments the Piccadilly Line has made to Heathrow).

    Additionally, changing at Acton Town can be a pig anyway with poorly functioning train announcement systems, so it’s easy to get on the wrong train. Which is serious as you could then be on the wrong branch. Due to the general chaos that’s prevailing at Acton Town in all times of…general chaos, I developed a preference for changing at Hammersmith which served me well. In chaos train after train can be completely full and you won’t get on at Acton Town, especually with luggage, I counted 9 once (and remember, longer gaps between those trains as well). At Hammersmith normally you’ll worst case get onto 2nd or 3rd train going to Heathrow that arrives.

    At Hammersmith the platform is very wide and you stay on the same platform, mostly the same side (not always, but mostly). At Acton Town tbe platforms to Heathrow are narrow, curved, cluttered and crowded, and often get a bitter cold wind that Hammesmith doesn’t get often.

    At Acton Town it’s far more likely that as part of the general chaos you may find yourself having to heave luggage up stairs and across to the other set of platforms if there are some mishaps. There’s a lift if you knoe how to find it but it’s a schlep.

    Buses from Acton Town are h*ll. i),If you’re really stuck at Hamnersmith a taxi is not ridiculously priced and you still have the option to try to get Tube as far as Hounslow if there are problems or take bus(es).

    Lastly at Hammersmith you’re surrounded by shops and a wide choice of other trnsport. Acton Towm station is lonely on a windy hill.

    Lots of things look good on the Underground map and the official announcements and suggestions from Tfl are not always the best way.

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