Latest Rail News

20.03.17

Pioneering scheme equips Edinburgh Airport to sell London rail tickets

Passengers travelling from Edinburgh to London’s airports will for the first time be able to purchase their express rail tickets into the capital from ticket agents in Scotland.

The idea has been brought in to encourage passengers to use the train travelling out of the airport, as research revealed that customers could save a combined £163m a year and 234 million minutes if they took the train from the airport into London, rather than relying on taxi services.

Gatwick Express, Heathrow Express, Stansted Express and Luton Thameslink started the scheme on 17 March, with a sales team deployed in Edinburgh to sell passengers rail tickets for their onwards London journey before they boarded the plane.

Chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, said: “The Edinburgh – London flight routes are a vitally important economic artery for Scotland and the rest of the UK and this new service will strengthen that.”

Dewar added that success was built upon offering passengers choice, arguing that “to now have the option of purchasing express rail tickets into central London here at Edinburgh Airport will make a London arrival all the smoother and is bound to be a popular service”.

Director of the Heathrow Express, Fraser Brown, added: “We are delighted to be working on this project – the first of its kind – as it serves to highlight the time and money savings passengers can make in using the train.

“If all the passengers from Edinburgh to Heathrow took Heathrow Express rather than a taxi into central London, they would save over 18 million minutes and over £17m. Heathrow Express provides a fast, premium service that takes just 15 minutes.” 

Julie Ryan, senior sales and partnership manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, also highlighted that by taking Gatwick Express, travellers could save a “staggering” 41 minutes compared to taking a taxi.

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   20/03/2017 at 17:13

By saying about Stansted Express. Their trains are always seems to be delayed because of break downs on the West Anglia main line and no wonder Stansted Express has struggled to keep their service up to scratch. But they always seem to face disruptions no matter if there is a break down on one of the Greater Anglia trains on the West Anglia line and it causes not just Greater Anglia services between Liverpool Street and Cambridge to suffer but also Stansted Express service to suffer as well. Thats why 4 tracks is needed for faster trains and also for Stansted Express to maintain their 30 minute train journeys up to date if the upgrade on the West Anglia main line with 2 extra tracks is planned to be upgraded.

David   20/03/2017 at 19:34

When did anyone mention Stansted Airport?

LTR1980   20/03/2017 at 19:49

Apart from having a sales team at Edinburgh Airport, this isn't exactly new as Manchester Airport has TVM in their Arrivals Hall. And for David, The reason why Stansted Airport is shown on the ticket is that Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express and Stansted Express form part of the London Airport 'Express Alliance' group

Andrew Gwilt   21/03/2017 at 01:25

Well because as part of the future Crossrail 2 project which involves parts of the West Anglia main line to be upgraded to 4 tracks that will allow Crossrail 2 trains to use the slow lines and the GA & SX trains to use the fast lines and also to extend the 4 tracks to Harlow Town, Bishops Stortford and where the West Anglia line connects with the Stansted Airport spur link north of Stansted Mountfitchet station that would also need some upgrades. The West Anglia main line is needed for upgrading from 2 to 4 tracks.

David   21/03/2017 at 03:03

It's got nothing to do with this new ticketing scheme.

Bob   21/03/2017 at 08:48

I see that tickets will be sold for the Gatwick Express which runs non stop to London Victoria in around 30 minutes with a single ticket costing £19.90. Price sensitive passengers should know that Southern provide a comparable service with 2 stops taking just over 30 minutes with a ticket costing £15.70. Taking the example of a journey from Gatwick Airport to Oxford Circus, using Gatwick Express via Victoria will cost £27.90 but by using Southern, one would only pay £16.60 AND that includes a one day Off Peak Travelcard for other modes of transport in Central London. For those travelling towards the City, a Single ticket on Thameslink costs £10.40 to St Pancras International. All three Train operating Companies are run under the umbrella of GTR.

John Grant   21/03/2017 at 11:46

It seems to say they're selling Thameslink tickets from Luton but not from Gatwick. I'm reminded of a catchphrase from a 1950s radio sitcom: "I know that. You know that. But do the visitors know it?"

Andrew Gwilt   21/03/2017 at 16:59

I think you lost the plot @David.

Stuart   21/03/2017 at 20:00

If the Express Alliance group really wants to make a difference they should start selling tickets at the departure airports abroad. As an experienced flyer to London from the US, I've had countless conversations with fellow airline passengers about the rail services (they're not that common here in the US). I've also experienced plenty of frustration after an overnight flight when dealing with long queues and often cantankerous/non-functioning machines to buy tickets into the city. It would make the morning arrival in London so much easier if there was a kiosk or desk in the Departure area at JFK, O'Hare, LAX, etc. where rail tickets could be purchased and questions about the services answered. Even a ticket-dispensing machine or two would be better than nothing, as long as they're maintained.

Jerry Alderson   21/03/2017 at 20:42

Isn't this a case of bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted? These days more and more people are buying tickets on their smartphones. I did so for the first time this week using greater Anglia's app on a trip to Liverpool Street and it was so easy. I can't believe it has taken me so long to conduct my first financial transaction on a smartphone. It's been mainly a mistrust of security in case my phone is stolen but with a brand new phone requiring two different PINs and an encrypted SIM I feel safer. I was very disappointed that Greater Anglia's app only creates an mTicket for certain journeys on their network and for some it is necessary to get the ticket from a TVM. Very inadequate!

Richard   22/03/2017 at 00:00

I seeem to recall a couple of years ago there were kiosks at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports selling rail tickets from London Airports into London. They suddenly disappeared and I was told by airport staff they were forced out of business by the Rail Companies? Private Sector entrepreneurship killed off by monopolies, only for the monopolies to step in - 2-3 years later! Ah the cut and thrust of the Private Sector!

Bob   22/03/2017 at 01:25

Re my comment at 0848 21/03, does anyone have an opinion regarding the fact that only the most expensive tickets, at least from Gatwick Airport, are being offered? easyJet sell these tickets on board their planes as a 'convenience' to passengers, many of whom do not realise that the 30 minute train journey will cost as much as three times the cost of their air ticket! A money maker for sure but not very honest or open.

John Grant   22/03/2017 at 10:24

Gatwick has a TVM in the baggage hall, which is helpful for those who have to wait for their bags. @Jerry: how does the phone app work with ticket gates?

Jon   22/03/2017 at 20:50

Does Andrew throw accusations at other commenters in order to deflect from his own mistakes? I've not once heard him talk about anything relevant to the article.

Andrew Gwilt   26/03/2017 at 02:53

@Jon-You don't say. You been serious right?!

Andrew Gwilt   26/03/2017 at 02:54

you're*

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