Deal struck to bring Elizabeth Line services to Heathrow

Elizabeth Line services will now serve Heathrow Terminal 5 as part of a new plan between the airport, Transport for London (TfL) and Department for Transport (DfT).

From 2019, at least 22 trains per hour, of which six will be on the Elizabeth Line, will connect central London with Heathrow – up from the current rate of 18 per hour.

This means a train will depart to the airport from the centre of the capital on average every two-and-a-half minutes – including two Elizabeth Line trains per hour to Terminal 5.

Heathrow has also confirmed that a joint feasibility study is underway to look into putting an additional two Elizabeth Line trains per hour to Terminal 5 – delivering eight trains per hour to the airport.

Additionally, from May 2018, passengers will benefit from more convenient journeys by being able to use their Oyster or contactless card at the airport with the installation of new ticket readers at Heathrow.

The deal with TfL will support Heathrow’s plans to ensure that half of all journeys to the airport are y electric or low emission public transport by 2030.

“This agreement is a big step forward,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye. “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.”  

And Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, added: “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.”

The news comes after a long running dispute between Crossrail and Heathrow over whether TfL should pay a track access charge to run trains on the Heathrow Express was recently resolved. At the end of May, the High Court blocked Heathrow’s attempt to impose the charge on Crossrail trains, allowing services to serve the airport without being charged.

Top Image: Heathrow Airport Limited

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Andrew Gwilt   06/07/2017 at 03:11

Which means you can go from Shenfield and Abbey Wood to Heathrow Terminal 5 without having to change at Heathrow Central (Terminals 2 & 3) and to get a shuttle train to Terminal 5 as Heathrow Connect will be absorbed to become the Elizabeth Line. Whilst Heathrow Express will still operate non-stop Paddington-Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 services.

Noam Bleicher   06/07/2017 at 08:47

This is dressing up as bit of a shambles as good news. T5 is the busiest terminal, yet will have only two trains and hour to the major commercial centres of the city it serves. Yes Heathrow Express will still run 4tph but is an utter irrelevance to the 99% of passengers who won't pay £24, and don't want to change at Paddington. There will be chaos at T123 as people pile off the 6 tph Crossrail service onto HEx, Heathrow Connect or the Picc Line to get to T5.

John Grant   07/07/2017 at 13:43

Not Heathrow Connect, which is being replaced by the Crossrail service.

Nigel   07/07/2017 at 16:45

"Additionally, from May 2018, passengers will benefit from more convenient journeys by being able to use their Oyster or contactless card at the airport with the installation of new ticket readers at Heathrow." Can anyone clarify this part of the press release? The words imply that Oyster cards will be valid on HX, which in turn implies that HX will be brought into (underground) fare zone 6. Or is this just shorthand journalism?

Stevep   15/07/2017 at 21:39

Hard to believe this is still subject to negotiation so far along. It does seem a bit odd that yet more capacity is being added to take passengers to Heathrow, which we are told is "at capacity". Perhaps the third runway is a given to those in the know, but removing the cost-effective Connect and leaving the absurdly expensive Express to hog two needed platforms at Paddington smacks of blackmail. Just what protects HEX from a sane view of airport transport? I think it unfortunate that with the billions spent on Crossrail, no provision has been made to loop trains from/to Reading into Heathrow. It seems a natural enough provision with apparently has not been considered?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

16/03/2018Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

Union members working for South Western Railway (SWR) are to go through with a four-day strike running across both bank holidays over the Easter ... more >
NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

16/03/2018NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

Network Rail has been ordered to pay £733,000 fines after a court found that its failure to adequately maintain track had caused a freight ... more >
Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

15/03/2018Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

Retail sales at Network Rail managed stations grew by 3.5% in the final quarter of 2017, it was revealed today. Between April and December 2017 ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How can UK rail become a global leader?

06/03/2018How can UK rail become a global leader?

Alison Dervis, EY director, explains why more diverse thinking, innovation and industry collaboration will help deliver transformative change to the railway industry. From late Georgian steam engines, to the multibillion-pound civil engineering projects of modern day, Britain’s railways have a legendary and inspiring tale to tell of... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The North has a plan

13/03/2018The North has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >
EWR: Getting it right

13/03/2018EWR: Getting it right

Peter Austin, delivery director at East West Rail Company (EWRco), argues that completing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as quickly as pos... more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
View all News


Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >