London Heathrow Airport, Transport for London (TfL) and the UK’s Department for Transport have reached an agreement to boost integrated rail connectivity to the airport, including the addition of two new trains per hour serving Terminal 5 (T5) from December 2019.
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. A train will depart Central London to Heathrow on average every two-and-a-half minutes. Journey times to Heathrow from Bond Street will take 27 minutes, Liverpool Street 35 minutes and Canary Wharf will be only 39 minutes away on a direct train. A joint feasibility study is now underway.
An interchange at Old Oak Common will connect High Speed 2 to Heathrow via the Elizabeth line in under 20 minutes, from 2026. Four Heathrow Express services from Paddington will continue to run every 15 minutes offering a fast 15-minute connection between Heathrow and central London.
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. The new ways to pay for journeys to the airport will mean more convenience and flexibility for passengers. Passengers traveling on the Heathrow Express will benefit from easier on-the-day ticketing and can still purchase tickets in advance online from £5.50 (US$7).
The initiative will support Heathrow’s plans to ensure that half of all journeys to and from the airport are by electric or low emission public transport by 2030.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow, said, “This agreement is a big step forward. Together Heathrow, TfL and the DfT are working together to boost rail connections to the UK’s hub, giving our passengers more choices to travel sustainably between Heathrow and London.
“With 22 trains per hour, an ambition to add even more services and easy to use Oyster and contactless ticketing, Heathrow will be at the heart of an integrated transport network and our passengers will reap the benefits.”
Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said, “We have been working with Heathrow on how we can deliver the best services for customers to and from the airport. It is great news that we can now confirm that the Elizabeth line will serve all the Terminals.”